'Outlander' renewed for second season

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Break out the whiskey, Outlander fans: Starz’ time-travel romance has been greenlit for season two.

The series adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling novels will return, presumably next year. The second season will be based upon the second of Gabaldon’s eight Outlander novels—Dragonfly in Amber.

But wait: Season 2 could be shorter than the first (or, less likely, longer). Starz isn’t specifying an episode count at this early stage and is only publicly committing to “at least” 13 episodes for the next round. The current debut season is 16 episodes—which is considered a rather large commitment for a premium cable drama (most pay-cable shows have 13 annual episodes, but several have less—including that other novel-based fantasy drama, HBO’s Game of Thrones, which has 10 per year).

Starz says viewership of last week’s premiere has surpassed 5 million views across all platforms, and—the network emphasized—drew roughly equal male and female viewership. “The overwhelming support Outlander has received from the fans, viewers and critics made the decision for us to go ahead with the second book a very easy one,” said Starz’ CEO Chris Albrecht. “Diana Gabaldon has given us years of great drama. With an incredible artist such as Ronald D. Moore at the helm and a cast as spectacular as this, we look forward to continue this spell-binding journey with Claire, Jamie, Frank, Brianna, Roger and everybody over the centuries.”

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