The anxiously awaited Outlander TV series made its debut on August 9, 2014 in the U.S.A. and is a terrific success! The television series, an adaptation of the beloved, best-selling story of Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser by Diana Gabaldon, is showing on the Starz cable TV network in the U.S.A., and will be shown on contracted networks internationally. See Where/How to Watch.
At right: the official poster from Starz for the first season of the Outlander TV series.
Want the latest? Check out Diana’s TV series news page for selected news stories about the series.
Millions of U.S. Viewers!
Since debuting, the Outlander TV series has been viewed by millions of viewers in the U.S.A.! An estimated 2.3 million subscribers of the Starz network watched the first episode on the weekend it first aired, and on August 9, 2014, the series was ranked number one in the Nielsen Twitter ratings.
On multiple platforms the first episode has drawn 3.7 million viewers (and counting), including paid streaming access and a free preview on the Starz website before August 9 which drew about 700,000 viewers.
Episode 101 of the series, titled "Sassenach," is the strongest multi-platform performance for a new series premiere in the history of the Starz cable network. Also, the statistics show that this premiere drew equal female and male viewership.
Season One: Sixteen Episodes
The Starz network is producing sixteen episodes of the Outlander series for the first season, which portrays events that occur in the first major novel in the series, OUTLANDER.
Starz is broadcasting the premieres of episodes from season one in a "split format," which means that the first eight episodes aired beginning on Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) and were shown weekly. These first eight episodes are called "Season One, Volume One," and became available for sale in DVD and Blu-Ray formats in March, 2015, in the U.S.A. and some other markets.
The second eight episodes of season one, called "Volume Two," debuted on Saturday, April 4, 2015, to be shown weekly.
A Second Season!
Many readers and TV viewers want to know, will there be a second season? A second season is also in the works:
"The overwhelming support Outlander has received from the fans, viewers and critics made the decision for us to go ahead with the second book a very easy one," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht when he announced that a second season had been approved. In the second year, the show will cover the material in the next major Outlander novel, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER.
The first season’s sixteen episodes focus on OUTLANDER, which is also published with the title "CROSS STITCH" in the U.K. (Click here for Diana’s chronology of the Outlander series.)
Who Is Creating This Series?
Executive producer Ronald D. Moore, with his company Tall Ship Productions, is spearheading the production with the Starz cable network and Sony TV (global distribution). Moore also serves as story runner for the series and author of some of the episodes.At right, actors Catriona Balfe (“Claire”) and Sam Heughan (“Jamie”) on location in Scotland, filming the new Outlander TV series.
In a Wired interview in December, 2013, Ron Moore was asked how the series became a reality. He said:
"My wife, Terry, and my producing partner, Maril Davis, are huge fans of the [Outlander] books. A few years back we were all having dinner in Vancouver, and we started discussing passion projects. Maril and Terry hadn’t talked to each other about the books before, and they said I should go off and read them. I love history and historical fiction, so I was immediately taken with them, and I thought, this is a television series. It took a while to get the rights, but eventually we persuaded Sony to acquire the rights and then pitched it to Starz, and Starz said yes. They said from the outset, we love the material, you don’t need to reinvent it. Make it for the fans, and everyone else will come along for the ride."
Is the TV Series True To the Books?
Converting a story from the printed word into a video format is called an adaptation, and the story arcs of each character and multiple details of a book have to be altered to fit in a new time frame and format. Everything from the scripts, choices of actors and filming sites, and minute details in costumes and everyday essentials have to be just right for an adaptation to be a success and to be accepted by an existing legion of devoted readers.
As stated above, Moore and the whole production crew are determined to stay as close to Diana’s writing as possible in the TV adaption. Diana is consulted by Moore and the other script writers if they have a question about the book OUTLANDER, plus Diana is a co-producer and consultant for the TV series.
Production in Scotland
Production and filming of the Outlander TV series began on location in Scotland on October 7, 2013. The production is being filmed entirely in Scotland, and actors solely from the U.K. have been hired to play all of the major roles.
Who is playing Jamie in the TV series? Claire? All the other characters? A page with a list of cast members and other information will be completed soon. Information on the actors chosen is also listed by date in the TV series news pages. Diana is very pleased with the actors chosen for the project; as stated before, all actors for the major parts in the series, as well as minor parts, are from the U.K.
Don’t speak Gaelic? Ever wonder how some of those words in the OUTLANDER books are pronounced, such as "Sassenach?" Then click here for access and links to videos by Starz (in Diana’s FAQs) which feature Àdamh Ó Broín, the Gaelic expert and tutor for the Outlander TV series, and actors such as Sam Heughan (who plays Jamie Fraser)!
Many readers have wondered, will Outlander author Diana Gabaldon make a cameo appearance in the TV series? The answer is yes! Diana appeared as a wealthy merchant’s wife in Episode 104, "The Gathering." A beautiful period costume was even created especially for Diana by the very talented costume designers and creators.
At right, Diana in costume, wig and make-up for her cameo!
Diana — Schmoozing in Los Angeles
Did Diana see any episodes of the new TV series before they were broadcast? Did she like them? In her blogs, Diana discussed viewing the final versions of the first completed episode of the TV series in L.A.:
- Part 1 of the blog: “L.A. Schmoozing – International Film Rights”
- Part 2 of the blog: “Schmoozing in L.A. – Part 2, Episode 1!”
Outlander TV Series News
Selected news, interviews and videos will be listed on the TV series news page, as well as other information about the project that Outlander readers might enjoy. It will be updated regularly, as new information becomes available (and when Diana’s Webmistress can get to it!). Also, check out the links below.
- Check Diana’s Facebook page for her posts, photos and musings about the TV series. (You will need to create your own Facebook account to be able to view hers. This is Facebook’s decision, to ensure viewers of the content are at least 18 years old.) Note that Diana’s Webmistress is working to cross-post information from Diana’s Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly for those who do not use social media. (Eventually the Webmistress hopes to catch up! <g>)
- Outlander: A Starz Original Series, the Starz network’s official home page for the Outlander TV series.
This page is maintained by Diana’s Webmaster, and was last updated on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 12:25 a.m. (PDT).