As you likely know if you’re a longtime CarterMatt reader, we’re the sort that always likes to be looking ahead. It’s great that Outlander has a season 4, but with that in mind, we want a season 5 renewal!
In a recent article, we briefly discussed that this is probably not something that is coming anytime soon. With Comic-Con dying down and with all of us starting to catch our breath a little, this feels like the right time to touch on that further.
Let’s start with some contextual timing: Outlander was renewed for two seasons in June 2016, in the days leading up to the episode “Je Suis Prest.” There were still many season 2 stories still to tell at that point, but clearly Starz had seen enough to be happy with giving the show a substantial future. We weren’t expecting a two-season renewal then, and we’re absolutely not expecting a two-season renewal anytime soon. Given that the show still hasn’t premiered season 3, there’s no need for them to order season 6. The best we can hope for is another one, which will keep the show two seasons ahead.
There is some merit in Starz choosing to announce an Outlander season 5 renewal by the end of the year. There may not be an immediate hurry, but for planning purposes, the earlier the announcement is made, the better that production can prepare. Work on season 4, after all, was beginning well before season 3 even finished filming. There was location scouting taking place in the spring, and it’s hardly like the writers show up in the room and begin their reading/research then. They need the time to think, comb over the Diana Gabaldon source material, and plan ahead.
In order for there to not be any delays and interruptions — important if the show wants to air annually in the fall — Outlander needs to have renewals for its future far earlier in advance than many other shows do. It’s very different than a network programming that can be renewed in the spring for the next season to premiere in the fall; everything is being filmed in advance of the premiere at the moment, things are shot at times out of order, and this show has a long and rigorous production cycle.
Do we think such a renewal will happen?
Absolutely, and we’re not just viewing things through rose-colored glasses. Outlander is one of the most successful series in the history of Starz, and it is a show that markets itself better than any other they’ve ever had thanks to its fans. It has star power at this point with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan on the rise, and it’s also poised to get a significant ratings bump courtesy of its move to Sunday nights.
Starz also has a pattern of issuing early renewals to other shows — they also did this with Black Sails, another show with a lengthy production cycle, for many years. If they have confidence in their brand, they’ll make a public showcase of it.
At the latest, we envision a season 5 renewal happening in early 2018.
When do you think we’ll see this Outlander season 5 renewal? Be sure to sound off now in the attached comments!
Also, be sure to visit the link here in the event you are interested in some further insight when it comes to the show. (Photo: Starz.)