Earlier this week, Starz made an announcement that was certainly a blindside to us: They are getting set to move their entire lineup of shows from Saturdays to Sundays, starting with the premiere of “Power” in July. Why do this? Clearly, the network thinks that their shows are big enough to duke it out on this hyper-competitive night, and in turn, there could be a bigger share of viewers there.
But is that really the case? It’ll be interesting to see, especially when it comes to one of our personal favorites in “Outlander.” Over the course of season 2, the series has averaged somewhere between a 0.2 and a 0.3 in the 18-49 demographic most weeks, and also a little bit over a million viewers. These are live+same day ratings for Saturday, and don’t include all of the different measures in which people watch the show. Still, they are decent for premium cable, and thanks in part to this show’s incredible fan base and also critical acclaim, there is no sign that the show is going anywhere in the near future.
Ultimately, it is for this reason that we’re somewhat surprised that “Outlander” could be one of the shows making a jump next year, provided that it is renewed for season 3 as we expect. Starz isn’t a network that relies solely on live ratings; it’s not like a Fox or an AMC, who relies on live ratings. It’s a subscription model, so why does it matter when the show comes on the air provided that it does and people still watched it throughout the week?
What we enjoyed about Saturdays is that it set the series apart, and gave it its own space in order to get publicity. If it stays in the spring and moves to Sundays, that means that it could air against shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Fear the Walking Dead.” We know devoted fans will still watch live, but we’re not sure that is the right move to throw yourself into that fray when you’re already doing something that’s not broken. Why try to fix it?
We suppose that the “Power” ratings this summer will be a slight litmus test to see how the move fares; this series averaged almost a 0.6 rating for season 2, making it Starz’s most-popular drama. If it improves, then maybe the network knows something we don’t.
Do you like or loathe the move to Sunday nights for “Outlander,” provided that it happens? Share below, and head over here to get some other TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Starz.)