First Season of ‘Halo’ Series Hitting Retail in November

CBS, Showtime and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Halo: Season One for digital purchase Nov. 7, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Nov. 15.

The big-budget sci-fi series, which was produced by Showtime for the Paramount+ streaming service, is a live-action adaptation of the popular “Halo” video game franchise.

After years of human civil war and growing political unrest, mankind’s very future is threatened when its outermost colonies intrude upon the sacred worlds of an alien threat known as the Covenant. As this fanatical alliance destroys world after human world, only one soldier slows their advance — a cybernetically enhanced “Spartan” supersoldier, the Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber). As the mystery of the Covenant’s true ambitions are revealed, the Master Chief must find a way to save humanity from the alien threat while also coming to terms with the secrets of his own enigmatic past.

In addition to Schreiber, the show also stars Natascha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the creator of the Spartan super soldiers, and Jen Taylor as Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history and potentially the key to the survival of the human race. The cast also includes Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Natasha Culzac, Olive Gray, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Kate Kennedy, Charlie Murphy and Danny Sapani.

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The five-disc DVD, Blu-ray and 4K collections include all nine episodes and more than five hours of behind-the-scenes extras, including 75 minutes of exclusive content that takes viewers deeper into the world of “Halo.”

Paramount is releasing the 4K Ultra HD version in both standard packaging and as a limited-edition Steelbook. Both configurations and the regular Blu-ray will include collectible art cards of Kwan Ha, Dr. Halsey, Soren, Master Chief, Vannak, Riz and Kai.

‘Halo’ Series Sets Viewership Records on Paramount+ Following Company-Wide Marketing Blitz

The first two episodes of “Halo,” the Paramount+ original series adaptation of the video game franchise of the same name, have reportedly topped the “Yellowstone” prequel series “1883” as the streamer’s most-watched original content. Paramount didn’t disclose actual streaming data for the show that debuted on March 24 and reportedly costs $10 million per episode.

In a blog post, Adele Plumail, SVP of cross-company marketing at Paramount, wrote that the erstwhile ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) media giant leveraged “every corner” of Paramount’s content portfolio to entice “Halo” viewership on Paramount+.

“It’s the biggest cross-company campaign we’ve ever done, reflecting Paramount’s focus on streaming and our ability to market content to audiences across our uniquely powerful portfolio,” Plumail wrote. 

The marketing executive said the company knew that the Halo user base was “super sticky,” giving the brand great potential beyond gamers who might be looking for a sci-fi story with engaging characters and drama.

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“That’s exactly the kind of premium content that lures audiences to streaming platforms,” Plumail wrote. “We believe that it will really continue to propel Paramount+ forward. With our portfolio of brands and platforms, we’re able to go both wide and deep — creating huge awareness moments and also hyper-target certain audiences based on demographics and content affinities.”

Ahead of the series launch, Paramount identified two groups to target its marketing to: sci-fi enthusiasts, who over-index with gamers, and a general entertainment audience to attract premium drama viewers.

Plumail said the marketing department “worked” internally all of Paramount’s networks, including MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, BET, and Paramount Network, to identify programming environments that would attract target audiences, and to plan content that would over-index among that sci-fi viewer.

“We also sought out some higher impact placements in the general entertainment/drama category to really put “Halo” front and center,” she wrote.

That included dropping the “Halo” series trailer during the AFC Championship game on CBS on Jan. 30. More than 48 million people saw the trailer that day.

“That’s an incredible way to create a runway to launch,” Plumail wrote. 

For the series launch day, Plumail’s team planned a “total takeover” of all Paramount platforms and channels, including a two-minute roadblock of “Halo”-themed content.

For example, Comedy Central ran a marathon of video game-themed episodes of “South Park,” featuring interstitials of “Halo” content. The show received additional national exposure through the ongoing March Madness college basketball tournament on CBS.

“Paramount+ is a great unifier,” Plumail wrote. “It houses our brands and our fan bases from across the portfolio and gives them an opportunity to find more content that they love in the service. In this case, we’re all rallying to make ‘Halo’ a hit.”