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Fans of Outlander on Starz have been waiting since way back in December for definitive news on the future of the series beyond the fact that a fourth season will premiere at some point before the end of the year. Well, those fans are in luck, because Outlander just got some very good news from Starz. The show has landed a multi-season renewal. A lot more time travel romance is in the works.
Starz has officially renewed Outlander for Seasons 5 and 6. All things considered, the renewal itself doesn't come as a huge shock. Outlander was second only to Game of Thrones with women viewers in premium cable scripted series during Season 3. Sony TV co-president Chris Parnell went on the record that the goal was to get an early start on a prospective Season 5 so as to avoid another "Droughtlander" situation that had the show off the air for more than a year. The show also scored a renewal for two seasons following the end of the second season. That said, there are some differences between the two renewals.
The fifth and sixth seasons of Outlander will each consist of 12 episodes, making for a grand total of 24 episodes guaranteed after the end of Season 4. The renewal for the third and fourth seasons were for 13 episodes each. The first season ran for 16 episodes, although that season was broken up into two halves with a long hiatus in between. The reduced episode count might come as a bummer to fans, but the early renewals should mean that the Outlander team can plan everything they want to include ahead of time.
Seasons 5 and 6 will be based on the fifth and sixth books of author Diana Gabaldon's beloved Outlander series, called The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes, respectively. The fourth season will be based on Gabaldon's Drums of Autumn. No premiere date for Season 4 has been announced at this point, but THR reports that it will hit the airwaves in November. While many of us would probably prefer the show to be back sooner than November, at least we now have a set window in the fall for the show to start up again. We won't have to spend the summer wondering if Outlander will be back in September or December.
Production on Season 4 is currently ongoing in Scotland. Much of the action likely will take place elsewhere than Scotland, however, as the Season 3 finale saw Claire, Jamie, and Co. swept to the American colonies after a huge storm. Drums of Autumn readers know that the entire season probably won't take place in America, but we can count on Season 4 looking quite different from previous seasons. We do know that one of the book's most horrifying rape scenes will be included in the new season, as will the villain who could be even worse than Black Jack Randall.