Starz's 'Outlander' Draws 900K Viewers Ahead of Official Premiere

The anticipated adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's best-seller gets significant sampling during a multiplatform preview one week before the Aug. 9 launch.

Starz's Outlander has lured nearly 900,000 viewers in its multiplatform preview starting Aug. 2, one week before the time-travel romance's official premiere.

As part of a free preview offered by the premium cable network, the first episode of Outlander was made available on multiple destinations, including Starz's official website, YouTube, Starz on Demand and the Starz Play app, as well as the Outlander Twitter and Facebook pages. The episode also was broadcast through select cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the U.S.

According to data provided by Starz, the premiere was viewed 897,000 times by 606,557 unique viewers as of Aug. 7 through Starz on Demand, Starz Play,, YouTube and Xfinity on Demand.

Whether viewers will tune in to Starz on Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT is another question. With a premise centered on a time-travel romance with threads of historical and political conflicts, executive producer Ronald D. Moore addressed public perception that Outlander was strictly a love story at Comic-Con in July. "I guess there is that perception in the marketplace," said Moore, who preferred to call it an adventure tale. And, the Battlestar Galactica producer was hopeful Outlander could attract male viewers as well. "I just don't think it's a man's show or a woman's show," he argued. "It's just a ripping good yarn."

Starz and other premium networks have provided early previews of their upcoming scripted dramas in bids to increase sampling and awareness. Other original offerings where Starz has employed a similar strategy include the 50 Cent-produced drama Power, already renewed for a sophomore season. And to capitalize on the fanbase for the best-selling Diana Gabaldon title, Starz last month announced its split-season strategy for Outlander, one that other networks have employed for valuable assets such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

Outlander is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining and Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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