What Starz pulling out of the TCA press tour means for Outlander

Written by: Janet Reynolds


Things that have me going hmmmm: Starz announced last week that it was pulling out of the Television Critics Association annual winter press tour. That's the one where the various cable and TV networks — and now online streaming channels — announce what's coming and show trailers to the press to get them pumped about the upcoming content.

Starz wasn't the only substantive group to pull out. Netflix also announced it was staying home. While I know we all care about what's on Netflix's horizon (Orange is the New Black, House of Cards anyone?), let's get real about what we all care most about: what does this mean for Outlander Season 3? Most importantly, does this mean anything at all about when the season will actually launch, thus ending #Droughtlander?

You may remember that at last year's winter TCA junket, Starz released its first Season 2 trailer... and then promptly took it offline, only to release a very different one closer to the actual launch of the season. It was a good move because that first trailer was way too spoilery.

But choosing not to release anything?


The decision might have to do with the purchase of Starz by Lionsgate, maker of such movies as The Hunger Games. That $4.4 billion deal was only inked in the summer and these are huge organizations. There still has to be a lot of behind-the-scenes integration, strategic planning, etc.

And of course, Starz does have a couple of other popular shows to consider, such as Power and The Girlfriend Experience.

The relevance of announcing shows in big press tours is also perhaps something that is increasingly antiquated in today's instant-announcement-via-social-media world. While good solid reporting remains vital, announcing upcoming TV shows might do just as well with a few well-placed blog posts, a few selected exclusives (think Outlander and Entertainment Weekly's relationship) and Twitter/Facebook feeds. Let the fans take it from there in their viral sharing way.

But in the here-and-now world we Outlander fans live in — and, yes, it is all about us when it comes to this obsession :) — I'm worried that not showing up at this January 2017 event means Starz may be delaying Season 3 of Outlander beyond its typical April season release. And that's only the beginning of where my very active imagination takes me...

What if the decision — for Outlander at least — is because the Powers That Be, aka Ron D. Moore, think the fans are going to go nuts when they actually do tease the season because we might not like what we see?
In the Variety piece announcing that Starz and Netflix were staying home, TCA President Amber Dowling said the dropouts were about scheduling and the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration more than about the relevance and importance of the TCA press tour in today's ever-changing social media and new media information world.

"We had to look at shortening the tour because of the inauguration, which obviously is a monumental event," she said in the Variety piece. "The cable lineup ended up moving to the middle of the tour rather than the end, so we ended up having to shorten their days."

Sounds very logical. And yet... still... I worry.



What do you think this announcement by Starz means for Outlander?
Anything at all or just business as usual?


15 comments

  1. AS far as pulling out I think it is because of when they can realistically air this season. Now everyone please don't jump all over me but I never thought season 3 would air in April. I am setting my anticipation meter for August. Being an analyst by trade there are a couple factors that lead me to that conclusion: a) takes 11 months to film a season, season 3 started in September b) Sam said filming with finish in South Africa towards the end on May (maybe I will run into him there) and c) we are almost at the end of 2017 and out of the 13 episodes they maybe have 4 episodes done, I am assuming 2 episodes to a block and I understand they are working on block 2. Everytime I voice this opinion I am told season 2 started before they finished filming, that is not true they finished filming in February.

    If we get an April date than I will be event happier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna.....While I'm not sure you're right about August (they do want some Emmys and they have to air episodes by the end of June to be considered for 2017), I do think you're right about April.....sadly.

      Delete
  2. I hope you're kidding, it's unbearable to have to wait till April, but August is worse! I would hope they have enough sense not to mess with the fans, cause that can get really UGLY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree August is a lifetime from now....Cannot. Wait. That. Long.

      Delete
  3. Janet, between the election, and now this, you are killing me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha Teddie.....It's going to be a rough 48 hours here in the States! The good news is the BAFTAs are happening today and hopefully Outlander will prevail!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Starz pulled all their shows out of the TCA, not just Outlander. So I don't think it means anything specific to Outlander - especially the notion that Ron is worried about what the viewers will think. Also, while I love the books and shows, I personally just don't care when it airs again. Aren't we used to this with all prestige cable dramas now? We watch and then we wait and get back to our regularly scheduled lives. Just not the end of the world. Sorry to be snarky, but...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda
      You're not being snarky. You're just more relaxed than I am :)

      Delete
  6. End of June? Considering Sam said filming would be till the end of May,then post production begins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan
      That's a good guess....unless they break it in half as they did with the first season so they can get in some episodes for Emmy consideration, which I think has to happen by May 31...My colleague, Holly, wrote a post today suggesting that's what might happen...and that we might not see the print shop reunion until episode 7! I hope she's wrong on the print shop part!

      Delete
  7. I'm frankly against posting guesses as to what's going to happen and when. We'e heard that DG has seen the first four episodes and is happy. Why get fans riled up at the notion that the evil Ron is doing something we'll hate and therefore has to be hidden? I realize bloggers need to blog about something, but this? Not so sure it's for the good of the fandom. I agree that April is probably not going to happen, but all the rest? This is almost as unfortunate as the really awful websites that guess from absolutely no knowledge and get people up in a lather for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting your comments. I appreciate your adding your thoughts to the mix. My point was to report the news, which is newsworthy as a change in policy for Starz over the last two years and indicative of changes in how TV is promoted in general. My sharing my concerns/worries is just that: my feelings. I think there's room for that in this fandom and the world at large. It's good to have civil discourse about ideas whether people agree or not. I'm glad you shared yours here.

      Delete
  8. I realize this is an old post, but it reminds me of an awful thought I have had from time to time. The least worst scenario is the episode before they actually reunite will end with her pushing through the printshop door, saying the famous,"it's not Geordie Jamie, it's me Claire," or the much worse scenario where the first half of S3 ends with those famous words and we wait months for the second part of S3 to see them reunite. This is way too ALL consuming and somewhat crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you gotta watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Have your ex CRAWLING back to you...?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Are you looking for free Google+ Circles?
    Did you know you can get these ON AUTO-PILOT AND TOTALLY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?

    ReplyDelete

Back to Top