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Outlander is currently airing its third season on Starz. Although only two episodes are left before the series enters yet another hiatus, fans can be reassured by the fact that the show has already been renewed for a fourth season. In fact, Season 4 has already begun casting and production in Scotland. As it happens, however, we may soon learn of a renewal for a fifth season of the hit time-travel saga based on the books of author Diana Gabaldon. Chris Parnell, the co-president of the Sony TV studio that produces the series, had this to say about the fifth chapter of the story:
In order to keep this show year by year and not have a Droughtlander, we had better start hustling on season 5 right now. I can tell you there are early talks on us doing that, to absolutely not have an extended Droughtlander like we've had before. That's the goal.
Chris Parnell spoke to EW about the future of Outlander, and his comments about avoiding another "Droughtlander" definitely bode well for fans. After all, while most TV shows are off the air for lengthy hiatuses between seasons, Outlander had a painfully long break between the end of Season 2 and the beginning of Season 3. The second season finale ended on a heartbreaking cliffhanger back in July 2016, and the third season premiere didn't hit the airwaves until more than a year later in September 2017. The hiatus between Seasons 2 and 3 was the longest, but by no means the only lengthy break between episodes.
Season 1 of Outlander aired in two blocks of eight episodes each. The first block ended in September 2014, with the second block not picking up until April 2015. That second block ended in May 2015 with a finale that had to tide fans over all the way to April 2016. Fans everywhere are undoubtedly hoping for shorter hiatuses between seasons in the future, and it's good to know that folks behind the scenes are also looking to avoid another Droughtlander situation. No deal seems to have been struck just yet, but it sounds like working out a plan for Season 5 is a priority.
Chris Parnell went on to say this about the Sony commitment to Outlander:
I'll tell you that I'm in this to tell Diana's story to completion. We want to deliver Outlander all the way through, just like Diana wants to deliver it all the way through. Where she leads it, we want to bring it there. I believe in my heart that our friends at Starz want to do the same thing. The worst thing that can happen is if we ended this prematurely.
Given that the Diana Gabaldon's Outlander saga is currently comprised of eight books, readers should be happy to learn that Chris Parnell intends to tell the full story on the small screen. That said, we'll have to wait and see how Gabaldon progresses on completing the series. She has stated that final novel will probably be the tenth; depending on her pace, it's possible that the show could outpace the books. Admittedly, the series is still covering the third book, but Game of Thrones is proof enough that shows can indeed catch up to and pass the source material.
We'll have to wait and see what happens. The rest of Outlander Season 3 will air on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz. For what you can watch in 2018 after Outlander has ended its latest season, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide.