CarterMatt predicted entering Outlander season 3 episode 8 that the series would generate some week-to-week improvement, but even with that the official numbers are a pleasant surprise!
After all, the episode “First Wife” is now officially the second most-watched episode of the series to date in live+same-day viewing measures! Overall, the series (starring Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan) drew 1.64 million viewers total, an increase of nearly 8% from the week prior. This puts the show up by about 40,000 from “Freedom & Whisky,” which is now the third-most-watched episode of the series. “A. Malcolm,” the episode featuring the long-awaited Jamie / Claire reunion, still holds the record with 1.72 million.
For those of you who are interested in seeing the year-to-year comparisons (we love reporting these), Outlander is up an incredible 44% in total viewers and almost 53% in the 18-49 demographic. Sure, the demo is relatively useless to a show airing on a subscriber-based network, but we still enjoy looking at it given that most other ad-supported networks are reliant on them and it’s good for cross-promotion. (Season 3 is averaging over a 0.3 demo rating as of right now.)
What were the reasons for the increased “First Wife” viewership? One of the biggest ones simply had to be the hype around the episode’s central Jamie – Claire confrontation. We knew his secret marriage was going to come out, and as a result of that an epic argument would follow — there were high stakes and we all wanted to know how this was going to play out. There is no bigger sell for an episode than a big event taking place — this is why “A. Malcolm” currently holds the record. That reunion had been hyped up for most of the year and there was no way viewers were going to miss out on the chance to check out the episode live. Of course, there are also many eager fans who view these episodes on the Starz app in advance — those are not counted in these reported numbers. These are just the viewers who watched the show either live or the original broadcast that same day. App viewers are tabulated elsewhere.
There are of course some natural fluctuations that come in here week to week, whether they be because of real-world headlines, other competition, and even the weather. This is why ratings often prove to not be an exact science, and why any prediction you can make is loose at best. Trying to determine whether or not viewers will watch a show live is a challenge.
We’ll save our ratings prediction for Outlander season 3 episode 9 (watch a preview for it here) until we get a little bit closer to the episode airing. Nonetheless, our hope is that the appeal of seeing Jamie and Claire at sea will convince many viewers to check out the show when it airs. Their voyage should be a solid enough tease to get people watching.
Your take on the ratings
Did they meet your expectations? Share some of your thoughts now in the comments section below.
If you haven’t see our Golden Globes series you can check that out at the link here. We are highlighting some of the year’s best shows and performers to bring more attention during the nomination season and Outlander is in a lot of our categories (and currently dominating the votes!).
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