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How The Outlander Season 2 Premiere Did In The Ratings

Starz has a lot of quality shows in its portfolio, but one of them, Outlander, was missing for a year while the subscription cable network shifted from a split season schedule to one lengthy one. Luckily, Outlander is finally back for Season 2. Even better? Despite the long wait, a slew of people ended up tuning in for the premiere.

Because subscription cable TV relies more on total subscribers than live viewership, it’s not unusual to hear about ratings a few days after the premiere. This is exactly what happened with the Outlander Season 2 premiere, which actually was way up in the ratings. The show opened to 1.46 million total viewers—which is more than any other episode of Outlander that has aired, yet. In addition, the show nabbed a .4 rating.

This obviously doesn’t seem like a lot when compared to something like CBS’ Big Bang Theory or The Walking Dead, but it is way up in viewership for the Starz drama. The Season 1 premiere, for instance, only brought in 720,000 total viewers in live and same day numbers. The Season 1 finale only brought in 980,000 viewers. The drama's best episode only did 1.42 million, and the Season 2 premiere beat those numbers in total viewers and tied in the demo, according to TV By The Numbers.

There’s no doubt that Outlander left us on the hook during the Season 1 finale. When last we left Jamie and Claire, they were headed to Paris to try and put a stop to the Jacobite Rebellion. Although Season 1 wrapped up on a pretty satisfying note, it was clear to both book readers-turned-TV fans and TV-only audiences alike that there was much more story to tell.

It should be noted there are far more than a little over a million people watching Outlander. When you factor in Live+7 day viewership, people who binge the show later, people who watch On Demand and people who stream the series on other platforms (like Amazon or the new streaming service), there are quite a lot of people who are invested in the fantasy romance series.

Spoilers from the premiere are in this paragraph. Of course, the Season 2 premiere also set up the story in a way that should have left fans wanting more. The premiere picked up in 1948, with Claire mourning near the stones that caused her to time travel originally. She later learned she and Jamie’s attempts to change history failed and revealed to her modern-day husband Frank that she was pregnant with Jamie’s child. Yeah, that’s a doozy of an episode to kick off with. The story also cutback to the 18th century, where Claire and Jamie were just reaching Paris.

If you’d like to see what happens next, you won’t have too much longer to wait. New episodes of Outlander air on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. ET, only on Starz.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.