‘Outlander’ season 3: How the PCAs should have handled Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, show’s victory

Tonight, there was a great celebration for “Outlander” fans courtesy of the People’s Choice Awards, as the show won a total of four different awards at the People’s Choice Awards this year: Favorite TV Show, Favorite Premium Sci-Fi / Fantasy Series, Sci-Fi / Fantasy Actor (Sam Heughan), and Sci-Fi / Fantasy Actor (Caitriona Balfe).

Basically, what we’re trying to say is that the show effectively dominated, but you wouldn’t know that if you watched it live.

Why didn’t the show’s broadcast give “Outlander” any love? The simple reason for that, superficially, is because the cast and crew are currently filming season 3. The show tends to have a habit of not airing or featuring any of the winners when there is no one there to accept the awards, mostly because having someone say “I accept this on their behalf” makes for dead air. We don’t fault the PCAs for opting against having that happen multiple times. What we’re really surprised about is that Favorite TV Show is effectively the prize of the night in the TV categories, and we do think the PCAs bungled how they handled that mightily.

Given that clearly the “Outlander” cast knew of the win in advance, why couldn’t CBS show something similar to the video below posted by Starz? We’ve certainly seen other shows in the past at several awards shows have the chance to do a remote acceptance speech, one where they announce all their victories at once and get a chance to thank the fans. For all the work that the fans of this show put into voting, especially for the top prize, we do think that they deserved the opportunity to see their favorite stars on network TV for a moment or two. Alas, that remote acceptance speech didn’t happen.

What we do want to emphasize here is that the lack of TV time does not marginalize any of these wins in any way, given that it is hugely significant. This is the first time that a cable series has won Favorite TV Show at the PCAs — this category specifically has only been around a handful of years, but when you look at the history of similar categories in the decades before that, cable shows weren’t breaking through (they typically only won awards designated for cable.) “Outlander” had a pretty transcendent win tonight, and it toppled shows with far more promotion on CBS and huge mainstream followings. We predicted that it would happen in advance, and we’re not trying to pat ourselves on the back here — we’ve just known thanks to covering the show for years here at CarterMatt how much “Outlander” fans love their show and love Sam and Caitriona.

So “Outlander” fans, celebrate your win! Also, enjoy the video from Heughan and Balfe HERE — and the Q&A that is going to follow as designated within. You’ve earned it.

How should the PCAs have handled the show’s many victories in your mind? Share in the attached comments.

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