Starz has renewed the Ronald D. Moore-helmed “Outlander” for a second season, after only a single episode has aired.
The show — which is based on the popular novel series by Diana Gabaldon — follows Claire Randall, a married nurse in World War II who is suddenly transported back in time to the similarly war-torn 1743, where she falls for a dashing Scottish warrior called Jamie Fraser.
Based on Gabaldon’s second book, “Dragonfly in Amber,” Season 2 will feature at least 13 episodes — down from the 16-episode first season (to be aired in two halves).
“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,” he continued. “With an incredible artist such as Ronald D. Moore at the helm and a cast as spectacular as this, we look forward to continuing this spell-binding journey with Claire, Jamie, Frank, Brianna, Roger and everybody over the centuries.”
The premiere episode drew about 720,000 viewers, but after a week, the total viewership numbers average out at just more than 5 million. These ratings, plus an equal split between the male and female demographics, mean that “Outlander” — an ambitious and risky project — has proved a success for Starz.
“Outlander” is the second Ronald D. Moore series to have been renewed for another season, after Syfy’s “Helix.” Moore is known for showrunning the critically acclaimed reboot of “Battlestar Galactica,” and also worked on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager.”
After the conclusion of “Spartacus,” “Outlander” joins “Da Vinci’s Demons,” “Black Sails” and “Power” in Starz’s slate of successful original programming.
Season 2 of “Outlander” will likely air toward the end of 2015. The show stars Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies and Graham McTavish.