'Outlander' Scores Early Season 7 Renewal at Starz

Outlander - Sam Heugan and Caitriona Balfe
Courtesy of Starz Entertainment, LLC

Rest easy, Outlander fans.

Starz has handed out an early seventh-season renewal for its time-traveling drama starring Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. Season seven, which will again consist of 12 episodes, will be based on the seventh of author Diana Gabaldon's eight-book series, An Echo in the Bone.

The early pickup comes as season six of the series from Sony Pictures Television is currently in production in Scotland. A return date has not yet been determined after production on the series was, like hundreds of others, delayed by the pandemic. Matt Roberts will continue to serve as showrunner on the drama for Lionsgate-backed Starz. Ron Moore, who helped adapt Outlander for the screen, remains involved a hands-on exec producer after departing his longtime home at Sony TV for a rich overall deal at Disney.

"Starz is committed to investing in unapologetic, bold premium storytelling that amplifies diverse voices and shines a spotlight on women in front of and behind the camera through our #TakeTheLead initiative," said Starz head of originals Christina Davis. "The hit series Outlander embodies everything about our initiative including a powerful female lead character and an amazing team of storytellers. We look forward to following the adventures of Claire and Jamie in America during the Revolution as well as more time travel during this next season."

The early pickup is hardly a surprise as Moore, in an interview pegged to the second season of his Sony-produced Apple drama For All Mankind, told The Hollywood Reporter podcast TV's Top 5 last month that talks were under way to extend Outlander. "Conversations are underway on both season seven and on a spinoff and I think we're going to have good news on both those fronts before too long so I feel very optimistic about it," he said. "I agree that I would've been happy to see it happen sooner than this but everything happens in its time. I think both those things are probably going to happen and hopefully we'll be able to say something about it before too long."

As Moore shifts to focus first on Disney originals including creation of a sweeping Magic Kingdom franchise and Swiss Family Robinson, he continues to contribute creative feedback and editing work on both of his Sony originals with others taking on day-to-day duties on Outlander and For All Mankind. Moore's Tall Ship Productions, Left Bank Pictures and Story Mining & Supply Co. exec produce alongside Sony. Moore, Roberts, author Gabaldon, Maril Davis, Toni Graphia, Andy Harries and Jim Kohlberg also exec produce. Balfe, Heughan, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin will all return for season seven.

Outlander has become a signature series for Starz. The premium cable network this year grew its relationship with star Heughan, who alongside co-star Graham McTavish, hosts docuseries Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip With Sam and Graham.

"We are so excited Starz has given us the opportunity to continue the epic Outlander journey,” Roberts said. “We can’t wait to get into the writers room and start breaking Echo in the Bone and look forward to giving the fans another season of this exhilarating story."

Outlander is part of Starz scripted roster that also includes the Power universe, P-Valley, Hightown, American Gods and upcoming originals Becoming Elizabeth, Black Mafia Family, Blindspotting, Dangerous Liaisons, Gaslit, Heels, The Girlfriend Experience, Run the World, Step Up and The Serpent Queen. The cabler is also developing updates of Lionsgate originals Weeds and Party Down.