Here we were, spending a good bit of time thinking that “Outlander” season 3 could premiere this summer….
Today, Starz confirmed the news that will likely be sad to some people out there: The hit series starring Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan is not going to premiere until September. This news comes after there were suggestions that filming for season 3 in South Africa would last until we roll around to late May / early June, and that Starz was planning to launch the new season of “American Gods.”
The reality here is that when you think for a minute about the ambitious storytelling that Starz is trying to achieve here, such a wait is not that enormous a surprise. A good comparison here would be “Westworld” season 2, which is so ambitious that it is going to take a substantial amount of time to make. You’re not seeing it in 2017 at all after the show first premiered last fall. Waiting an extra five or so months for “Outlander” doesn’t seem so terrible at all by comparison. (We say that, as well, as someone who’s waiting a good 16 months already for the final season of “The Leftovers.”) You’re getting a series filmed on two different continents, and using a broader color palette than you tend to see almost anywhere else. Story-wise, fans of the Diana Gabaldon books will likely know that this is worth waiting for; hopefully, viewers will realize the same thing.
There are positives to the news; be happy! – By premiering in September, Starz avoids competition from “Game of Thrones” on Sunday night; they also avoid “Westworld” given the aforementioned delay there. While there will likely be some overlay between the show and “The Walking Dead” / “Talking Dead,” we don’t see these two shows as sharing an enormous audience. Plus, Starz is a network that cares more about subscribers than precisely how many people choose to watch a show live on a given night in the first place.
In the end, remember the expression “good things come for those who wait.” It may be frustrating to have to wait so long, but we absolutely do think that it is applicable in this situation. You want the best product possible, and this will give the producers and the network time to deliver on something that is beautiful, powerful, and worthy of more awards recognition. (This move will render the show ineligible for the 2017 Emmys, but it will be in Golden Globe contention — and even could benefit somewhat from recency when it comes to those nominations.)
Have a thought or a reaction to the “Outlander” launch date? Share in some of the attached comments, and head over here in the event you do want to get some more news when it comes to the show. (Photo: Starz.)