More Thoughts on The Outlander Season 5 Premiere Date

Photo: Sam and Caitriona at Paleyfest, 2015, Season 1, Part 2 Premiere – Ep 109

OK, Lots of discussion arose from Friday’s Popsugar article, suggesting a January 5th, 2020 premiere date. (See Popsugar Predicts Outlander Season 5 Premiere Date), so I decided to dig a little deeper, and do my own prediction. 

Firstly, their assumption about 13 episodes in Season 5, is incorrect. We have been told that Season 5 will be 12 episodes. 

Keep in mind, this is all speculation based on the information that’s floating around out there. If this type of thing upsets you, I urge you to stop reading now, if not, read on.

We know that as of August 16th, filming was over halfway finished, based on an Instagram post by Matt Roberts (see OutlanderBTS What’s New). If I assume that they’ve finished filming at least through Episode 507 by now (9 days later), that means there would be five episodes left to film. It takes 2 weeks to film each episode, so let’s say they start Monday, August 26, filming Episode 508. If they work the next 5 weeks, with weekends off, and no other breaks, by the time of NYCC (October 3-6), they will have completed 508, 509 + half of 510.  Let’s say they get a week off for NYCC (which is generous, as last year they flew in on the Friday and out on the Sunday!). But let’s say they get a little time off for that, and maybe another week off here or there. That would mean they finish filming sometime in mid November. I also remember someone mentioning that their nephew or niece applied for a job with the studio, and the notice said production would run through November. 

Post production (editing, ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording), adding special effects, music, etc.) takes two full months per episode. Once they finish filming, each episode goes into the post production phase, or queue, as the case may be. On or around August 5th, Diana commented that she has “seen the first four episodes in some stage of full assembly…” (see OutlanderBTS What’s New), so that’s underway, with some episodes being nearly complete, and others in process.

The other factor to consider, is the Starz programming schedule. OutlanderBTS reader Barbara Bell pointed out that Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch (you remember him ?), said that the second half of Power (5 episodes) will air in January 2020. He is quoted as saying, “We have some shows coming before [Outlander] like Power that serve the general market. It’s more about scheduling around that digital experience.”

If Power Part 2 will start in January and run for 5 episodes, then I believe it’s unlikely that Outlander will air in January, and it’s true that there will be an opening in the Starz schedule sometime in February. The Popsugar article also mentioned the American Gods premiere. I looked that up, and filming for American Gods (another Starz Original), is supposed to go from September 30, 2019 to March 6th, 2020 (8 episodes), and then they will do their post production. Let’s say theirs takes 2 months per episode also, American Gods would be ready to air around the beginning to middle of May. If Outlander airs in February, it would run 12 weeks and finish in May. 

The other piece to consider is time to promote these shows. The cast always does a big press tour just before Outlander airs, usually in New York City and LA, and sometimes in the UK. I don’t see a lot of existing events they could hook onto for the premiering Season 5, except Paleyfest, in LA, which takes place in mid March every year. This is where the second half of Season 1 was debuted, in March 2015, (I was there!). If Outlander kicks off its Season 5 opener in LA at Paleyfest, that would put the beginning of the season at the end of March.

Another possible consideration is other general programming, which includes many awards shows and the Super Bowl in January, and more awards shows running through February 9th, 2020. In addition, President’s weekend is Feb 15-17, 2020. 

Taking all this into account, (and still speculating, mind you!), I am going to make a (speculative) prediction, that Outlander Season 5, will premiere, at the earliest, February 23rd, 2020, and latest, March 29th, 2020. There you have it, this is my best guess, as of today, for what it’s worth! ?

A couple of other things to note: at least one person mentioned the idea that the release of Book 9, Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, and the release of Season 5 will be coordinated. I am not sure this will be the case, as Penguin Random House is the publishing company that does the Bees release, and Starz is responsible for the Season 5 release. I guess they could coordinate those releases, but I don’t think it’s very likely. If anything, they’ll need to coordinate with each other around Diana’s availability to promote Bees and Season 5.

People also asked when will Season 6 air??? Well, this is MAJOR speculation, since 5 is still filming. But let’s look at the premiere dates so far:

Season 1: August 9, 2014
Season 1, Part 2: April 4, 2015
Season 2: April 9, 2016
Season 3: September 10, 2017
Season 4: November 4, 2018
Season 5: Feb-March, 2020 (educated guess)
Season 6: June – July 2021 (MAJOR GUESS!) ??‍♀️(This guess is based on the windows between show seasons being 14 to 17 months so far).

I invite your opinions and discussion about the topic, if you have something to add, I am always open to respectful discourse. 

A new Season 5 Promo was spotted! To see it, go here ➡️New Season 5 Promo Spotted, During Power Premiere Tonight! . For that, and all of the Season 5 updates, go to Reader Favorites, Season 5

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May you have a wonderful week ahead, full of joy and outside time! ?

Source: Deadline
Source: Town and Country
Source: Starz

Special thanks to my faithful copy editor, Kirsten Carpenter Norling, for catching my typos! 

8 comments on “More Thoughts on The Outlander Season 5 Premiere Date

  1. By the time they get these series aired Sam and Catriona will actually be Jamie and Claire’s ages. I love Outlander and have always been a big fan but the length of these Droughtlanders is making me lose interest. Git ‘er done already.

    • hahahaha, well, they will be authentic at least! I used to chuckle when people would write, “I hope I live long enough to know the end of this story,” but I realize some of them are serious!

  2. I was thinking March or April, so if it ends up being earlier it will feel like a bonus! For now as one of my Droughtlander pleasures I have discovered (via another fan’s suggestion) a wonderful podcast Outlander Soul. If you haven’t listened to it already, I highly recommend it. Very smart, different and feminist (in the best sense of the word) discussions inspired by the philosophical and spiritual themes of the books and the show

    • Hi Veronika: Where can I get the podcast Outlander Soul. I am an obsessed Outlander fan and find that a Droughtlander doesn’t decrease my interest but it is somewhat frustrating. All good things come to those who wait – and we Outlander fans are a patient bunch, but the podcast that you mention would fill the time gap.

  3. Courtney, if I am not mistaken, S3 and 4 were almost filmed back to back. I think they only had one or two months holidays before the two seasons. Am I correct? If I am not mistaken, the same might apply for S5 and S6.

    • Astrid, I think that back to back business was a failed experiment for many reasons. The actors got two months off, but the writers, costume and set folks got like 2 weeks off, which was really stressful, and I think a big reason Terry Dresbach (for one) burnt out. I sincerely hope they’ll get more time off than that, so they will want to stick around for more seasons! We shall see.

  4. Really sad…..too long a Droughtlander… and one less episode. Not sure I will continue with Starz.. Outlander is the ONLY show I watch on that network! Maybe just wait and buy the Blu Ray set.

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