Over the past few days we’ve heard many a reason for the Outlander season 3 episode 6 hiatus — with that, we’ve also had plenty of time to speculate over why it is happening. Why would Starz want to separate the first five episodes from the remainder of the season?
The largest conclusion that we’ve been able to draw on the subject is simply this: The hiatus is coming about as a result of Starz wanting to almost divide their story up into two different acts. The first act is very clearly the story of Claire and Jamie finding their way back to each other; meanwhile, the second act allows for the two of them to continue the story together as a unit. This hiatus separates these stories somewhat, and in this instance may allow them both to be more memorable after the fact. There is something psychological about the space between episodes; one of the reasons why we are against the idea of binge-watching for great shows is that you miss something. Everything blends together and you don’t get that magic of separation and communication with other fans. There is still something joyful about watching an episode, being on the same pace as everyone else, and talking about.
For the sake of people with busy schedules, maybe this helps some Outlander viewers catch up. Or, maybe this hiatus is a way to recruit some new fans down the road.
While the obvious downside here is that there will be some people frustrated over Sunday’s hiatus, the upside here is a little more substantial. If these two weeks lead to more excitement or viewers getting hooked on the show, it offers up more time for people to catch up by the finale in December. Given some of the recent ratings bumps for the show it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Outlander to add another 100,000 or 200,000 viewers to its live measurements over the coming weeks. If it loses a few because of the hiatus it can easily gain them back because of momentum.
Not only that, but we do think that the December 10 finale airing one week later than it would have otherwise is an asset. It’s not too late that it will be disrupted by Christmas, but it may get a small viewer boost because of it airing late in the year when temperatures are down and there’s less distractions that keep people away from TV.
Hiatuses are frustrating, but this one — especially when you think about the benefits of added promotion for the Jamie / Claire reunion — could be more beneficial than any one of us may have initially thought. You know that Starz is going to make this one into something special.
How are you feeling about the Outlander season 3 episode 6 hiatus now?
Let us know in the comments below! Meanwhile, you can head over to the link here in the event you do want to get some more news regarding the fourth season — specifically, the big Aunt Jocasta – Stephen Bonnet casting news from earlier!
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