Outlanders React to an Extended Season Seven Break

The news broke yesterday that the second half of season seven, aka 7B of Outlander, will not continue until November 2024. To say I was shocked is an understatement.

The reason we have (or will have) a sixteen-episode seasoning seven is because season six was only eight episodes due to COVID-19 and Caitriona Balfe’s pregnancy.  When the announcement for season seven was released in June 2021, it was said this would be a long season, much like season one, the only previous season with sixteen episodes.  Similarly, season one was split in half.  Episode 108 aired on September 24, 2014, and episode 109 continued on April 4, 2015.  We are now facing a ridiculously long break for season seven.

Some fans have commented on social media that the strikes have pushed back the continuation of season seven.  Season seven was finished filming before the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.  When Maril Davis was at the ATX Television Festival last year, she stated that Matthew B. Roberts had stepped back due to the strikes and she had stepped up to finish post-production on season seven.  What was said on that panel with Caitriona Balfe is that the WGA strike would impact the start of season eight.  The SAG-AFTRA strike had not started yet.  Outlander is a WGA production but is not a SAG show.  At that point last year, filming on season seven was done and they were starting to promote the beginning of season seven on Starz.

The illustrious Karen Henry of Outlandish Observations posited that the restart of season seven in November 2024 was due to the scheduling of another of Starz’s popular original programs, Power Book II: Ghost. This series’ last season is also being split into two halves.  While scheduling shows on premium cable networks is not in my background at all, Starz knew that there would be an end-product of sixteen episodes of season seven, as they announced in June 2021.  The season had not been filmed yet, but the network knew it was going to have so many episodes as a result.

Hindsight is 20/20, and what Starz should have done, in my opinion, is turn 7B into season eight and have the final season be season nine. If this were done, we would have three short eight-episode seasons and a final ten-episode season. We would have expected a long break between the seasons already, and Starz would not have dragged Outlander fans along expecting a continuation early to mid-2024.

I don’t think there are many original series with such a high production value whose fans have lost patience with marketing, press releases, and how seasons are handled. Unfortunately, Outlander is one of them.

Below is a small collection of social media comments on Starz’s official Outlander accounts regarding disappointment at this announcement. Disapproving comments are concentrated not just on Starz’s accounts but also on those personal accounts involved in the production.  And I should make it very clear that there are a lot of fans who are just excited to have a return month for the series.

Source of screenshot comments from Starz’s Instagram and Facebook accounts