As of March 24, the Halo TV series is out, and Master Chief’s live-action introduction is apparently off to a good start for Paramount+. The streaming service says Halo is now Paramount’s biggest program debut for its subscription library, dethroning Yellowstone’s prequel, 1883.
According to Deadline, Halo’s success shot it to the top of Paramount’s streaming service offerings in just 24 hours. There’s no precise number given for what “most-watched” means for Paramount+, but competing with a Yellowstone prequel isn’t a thing to hand-wave. On cable, 1883 was the biggest original series premiere in just a bit over five years—not a one-to-one comparison, no, but the point is live-action Chief didn’t crash and burn.
It feels a little hard to gauge what success looks like for Halo’s TV series and its billion-dollar players, but it’s an optimistic picture. In a report from Variety, Paramount+ chief programming officer Tanya Giles drew comparisons to other television heavy-hitters, noting the company’s hopes for the series would have it compete with the likes of Star Trek and the aforementioned 1883. Just like 1883, Halo sports a $10 million per episode budget, so I reckon they meant it.
I don’t really know what to make of Halo‘s jump to TV just yet. I’m not among those opposed to the live-action treatment of most games, but I can admit they aren’t often done very well, and Halo already has a few moments I grit my teeth through. Seeing Cortana in that trailer reveal was certainly an experience. I think it’s mostly because her expressions look just as horrified to stare back at me.
Regardless, kudos to John-117 because, in all honesty, I had no idea Paramount even had a streaming service before late last year. I don’t know if that says more about me and my tv-watching habits, Paramount, or the general hell state of having a million things to subscribe to and juggling cancellations between show hiatuses. There are nine more episodes to go though, and a second season is already in the works, so I guess they’ve got me for now.