'Outlander' Renewed for Second Season at Starz

Outlander Still Sam Heughan Caitriona Balfe - H 2014

Outlander Still Sam Heughan Caitriona Balfe - H 2014

Break out the kilts: Starz has renewed Outlander for a second season.

The premium cable network announced on Friday that its Ron Moore adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's best-sellers will be back for a second run of at least 13 episodes. Season two — as expected — will be based on the author's second in the eight-book series, Dragonfly in Amber.

The order for 13 is down from the freshman run of 16, which is being split in half, with the final eight set to bow in early 2015 after the first run wraps on Sept. 27.

Less than a week after its Saturday premiere, the series debut has collected more than 5 million views, including the inaugural telecast, which averaged 720,000 viewers, multiple weekend plays and a major online and on-demand sampling run. Starz noted that the series drew an equal number of male and female viewers, a notable metric given its female-leaning romance concept of a married combat nurse (Caitriona Balfe) who is mysteriously swept back in time and falls in love with another man (Sam Heughan).

"The overwhelming support Outlander has received from the fans, viewers and critics made the decision for us to go ahead with the second book a very easy one. Diana Gabaldon has given us years of great drama," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht of the Sony Pictures Television entry. "With an incredible artist such as Ronald D. Moore at the helm and a cast as spectacular as this, we look forward to continue this spell-binding journey with Claire, Jamie, Frank, Brianna, Roger and everybody over the centuries.”

Added SPT programming president Zack Van Amburg: "Fans of the Outlander books have waited a long time to see this incredible story brought to life onscreen, and Ron and his team have delivered a show that exceeds expectations. We look forward to our continued partnership with Starz to present the next chapter of this epic tale to longtime fans and viewers who are just discovering the series."

The renewal guarantees Moore will have two series heading into sophomore runs, with Outlander joining Syfy's previously renewed outbreak drama Helix. Moore exec produces Helix alongside Steven Maeda, who serves as showrunner.

For Starz, Outlander joins a roster of original scripted fare, including Black Sails, DaVinci's Demons, Power as well as the upcoming Flesh and Bone, Survivor's Remorse, The Missing, Blunt Talk, The Girlfriend Experience and newly ordered The One Percent.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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