Should Outlander season 4 air straight through? The value in a hiatus

Outlander season 4 photoWe know that there are going to be many wonderful things about Outlander season 4 when it airs on Starz later this year, but we also know that there is one part that universally frustrates everyone: The waiting. Having to sit around for a good nine months (at least) between the end of one season and the start of a new one is exhausting.

By the time the season airs, you do have to add another layer of impatience to the mix when Starz decides to have a hiatus in the middle of the season. There has yet to be a full season that aired every episode consecutively. Last season in particular, there was an extra week off leading into the Print Shop that proved to be super-frustrating for many, especially since they were forcing viewers to wait an additional week to check out what is arguably one of the most-beloved scenes in the entire history of the Diana Gabaldon series.

Was there value in waiting that extra week? It depends on how you look at it. In some ways, you can argue that the anticipation worked, given that the Print Shop remains the highest-rated episode in the history of Outlander (at least when it comes to live viewing). Did that actually help to further build anticipation for the show? That’s absolutely possible.

Yet, can you also make the argument that the Print Shop would’ve produced the same ratings if it had aired the week before? Sure. Maybe a few viewers had an opportunity to catch up during the one-week hiatus, but it’s hard to make an argument that the break meant more to the episode’s ratings than it simply being one of the most-anticipated in the series’ overall history.

If there is a hiatus for season 4…

We hope that it comes only for one of two reasons — some sort of event that would damage its live ratings on another network (or a holiday where people won’t be watching) or a move to give the post-production team longer in order to make things perfect. In general, our sentiment is this: It’s better to wait an extra week in order to not have any breaks during the season than it is trying to take a break in the middle an interrupt the flow, since then instead of the conversations being mostly excitement about the show, there are some grumblings and no one wants that.

To be fair completely to Outlander, some of their past breaks have been to deal with holiday weekends. Back in season 1 the series attempted to sidestep Memorial Day Weekend, whereas back in season 2 the show moved “Dragonfly in Amber” away from the Fourth of July.

Related Be sure to check out some other insight, including some speculation as to why teasers matter

What we want to know from you is this — would you prefer Outlander start a week later and not have any breaks, or air a week earlier and take a week off? Do you really think that it matters? Share below!

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