Why Starz Is Holding Outlander Season 5 Until 2020

Outlander Claire Randall Fraser Caitriona Balfe Young Ian John Bell Starz
(Image credit: Starz)

Why is Starz withholding Outlander Season 5 until 2020? That is the question on many fans’ minds as they have learned when to expect their favorite show back. Outlander ended its fourth season in January of this year. Having a 2020 premiere date for Season 5 means at least a year wait between the Season 4 finale and the Season 5 premiere.

What is the reason behind this latest Droughtlander? Starz’ Chief Operating Officer, Jeffrey A. Hirsch, explained the reasoning behind the wait, which entails scheduling. Speaking on Outlander’s 2020 premiere date, Hirsch told reporters at the TCA tour (via EW):

Everything we do is based on delivery, trying to have something on the air to serve that premium female audience. We have some shows coming before like Power that serve the general market. It’s more about scheduling around that digital experience.

News of an "early" 2020 premiere date for Outlander Season 5 means that fans will have had to be without their favorite characters for a while. A year-long interval between seasons has been pretty regular, since the costume drama premiered in 2014. Each year has traditionally seen the premiere of a new installment.

Arriving in late 2018 caused Outlander’s fourth season to run into the next year for a single month. An exact 2020 premiere date has not gotten set, beyond early 2020. That would put the waiting game between Season 4 and 5 at a little over a year. While not ideal, it is not the worst outcome either.

While this wait will be tough to endure, Outlander fans should be able to manage it thanks to Season 5 teasers. The fifth season started production earlier this year. Accordingly, a first-look at Claire and Jamie was released. A Season 5 video has since followed, which revealed the Frasers back at Fraser’s Ridge, among other things.

Based on what is known so far about Season 5, there is a lot in store for fans. There are teases that the fifth season may be very different from the book, so prepare. It will not be the first time. Murtaugh was kept alive, which Outlander’s showrunner cited as a “fantastic idea” in spite of the challenges.

In Season 4, fans also dealt with a key scene from the book involving Claire and Jamie getting cut. An Outlander producer blamed the power structure for why Jamie and Claire missed the birth of their grandson, Jemmy. Time will tell what and how many changes emerge in Season 5.

Outlander’s star, Caitriona Balfe, previously revealed what she wanted fans to take away from the show. One of the things that fans have learned thus far is that the show’s eventual arrival is worth the wait. Outlander’s Season 4 finale set the stage for a swiftly-paced fifth season. Now comes the wait to see it arrive on-screen!

The Droughtlander will end when Outlander returns with Season 5 in 2020 on Starz. To help cope, you can currently watch previous seasons of the series on Netflix, among other premieres. There are also this summer’s premieres available to check out.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.