HALO is a certified hit and Paramount+ releases first episode for free

Record-breaking numbers garnered by HALO for Paramount+ have prompted the release of the first episode for free on Youtube.


Paramount+ has been looking for a fresh hit, and now it can claim one with HALO. The series based on the mega-popular Xbox video game franchise debuted to record-breaking numbers and continues the trend with its second episode.

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HALO gave Paramount+ it's biggest success to date and its first episode is now online for free. But not everyone is happy Master Chief keeps removing his helmet. (Images: Paramount+ and 343 Industries)

With the two HALO episodes aired so far, the numbers have been really good for Paramount+. However, some fans are not too happy with the alterations, including having Master Chief take off his familiar headgear. Regardless, Paramount+ has decided to release the full first episode for free online.

HALO Paramount+ hits record numbers

Produced by Steven Spielberg, the HALO series had a long development and production history. A television series based on the popular Xbox action shooter was in the works since 2013. That it took nearly 10 years for it to come to fruition is a testament to the challenges it had to work with. Having it birthed on the Paramount+ streaming service instead of a network is one of the major changes the series experienced over the years.

As for Paramount+ itself, the service had been struggling to compete in the growing streaming wars. The biggest players such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and more have their own exclusive IPs. Although Paramount has the Star Trek franchise, it has not leveraged that IP into a big project so far. Since its inception, the streaming service’s most successful shows have been iCarly and the Yellowstone spin-off 1883.

That was, until HALO premiered to overwhelming viewer results. It has even surpassed the earlier viewership numbers set by 1883's own premiere episode. Being attached to a video game property with a dedicated and large fanbase may have helped with the marketing, particularly with the franchise experiencing a sort of renaissance thanks to HALO Infinite.

Keep your helmet on

In a statement by Tanya Giles, Paramount’s Chief Programming Officer, the executive expressed gratitude and hinted at the future plans for HALO the series:

Bringing Halo to life as a streaming series has been one of the most rewarding efforts for Paramount+ to date and we could not be more thrilled at the massive fan response to the series' debut. Along with our phenomenal partners at Showtime, 343 Industries and Amblin Television, we cannot wait for fans to experience more of this incredible universe.

Although specific viewer numbers were not revealed, Paramount+ is obviously quite happy with the turnout for HALO’s debut and retaining the high numbers for its second episode.

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HALO on Paramount+ is a great success, but many fans are unhappy with Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber ) constantly removing his helmet.

This is despite some fan backlash that the show has taken liberties with the canon, particularly having the series protagonist Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) uncharacteristically and regularly remove his helmet. The second episode even had the helmet off for most of its running time.

Although expanded material like novels do have the iconic Spartan John-117 take off his helmet, what he looked like underneath had always been a mystery. Even the video games never clearly showed his face without the helmet.

HALO Episode 1 free on YouTube

To celebrate the success of the HALO series, Paramount Plus has released the first episode for free on its official YouTube channel:

The episode is available in its entirety and in high definition, however, just not for viewers outside the United States. There is no official word on whether this status will change, in order to allow international audiences to see the episode on YouTube.

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With the second season of HALO already in development, what should fans expect from the first season finale?

HALO the series stars Pablo Schreiber as Spartan John-117/Master Chief, Natascha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, Jen Taylor as the A.I. Cortana, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066, Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes, Olive Gray as Miranda Keyes, Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha Boo, Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134, Kate Kennedy as Kai-125, Natasha Culzac as Riz-028, and Charlie Murphy as Makee.

HALO the series on Paramount+ airs a new episode every Thursday. Season 1 of the series will run for 9 episodes through May 19, 2022. The second season has already been greenlit and is in the early production stages.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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