Outlander set new records in its highly anticipated return to Starz this past weekend. Not only did the series smash its Season 1 launch numbers, but it also attracted more viewers than the Season 1 finale. While the second season continues to develop, the ratings are only expected to get better as the show’s fan base continues to grow stronger.
According to TV Line, Outlander’s Season 1 debut garnered some 720,000 viewers while the finale last season attracted 980,000. In comparison, the Season 2 opener raked in close to 1.5 million viewers, which even tops the show’s highest output at 1.42 million.
While the new season premiere averaged an A- grade amongst fans, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the ratings will only increase after other statistics are added, including On-Demand and repeat viewing. With these added, the total number is expected to rise to some 2.7 million, which would make the episode the most successful launch in the history of the network.
Considering the high ratings and good reviews, Outlander is on pace for another popular season. If these trends continue, the success should translate into a strong award season for the show. Although the show was snubbed at the Golden Globes last year, another successful year might help the series win the coveted award in only its second year on the air.
Meanwhile, it’s no secret that the majority of Outlander’s success rests on the steamy relationship between Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). In fact, author Diana Gabaldon recently sat down with the Express and discussed the importance of their relationship, which includes some very heated sex scenes.
For starters, Gabaldon pointed out that the sex scenes play an important part in the story and are not included without a good cause. In fact, their sexy romance is part of the reason they decided to get married in the first place.
“It’s very important for multiple reasons, for one thing, theirs is a forced marriage. They were never intending to marry each other,” she shared in the interview. “He married her mainly because he wanted to sleep with her, to protect her also.”
Gabaldon also explained how sex acts as a means to keep Jamie and Claire together through tough situations. With the two venturing off to Paris, France, in Season 2, fans can expect their sexual attraction to help them deal with things as they attempt to change history.
Meanwhile, Gabaldon added that sex is an “important ingredient” for any long-standing relationship. This is especially true for Jamie and Claire, who frequently come up against difficult situations.
“There are a lot of forces troubling their relationship and trying to drive them apart,” Gabaldon said. “Their marriage is the bedrock on which they are both based, and they can do things together that they couldn’t do by themselves.”
That being said, Claire is heading into the new season with a baby on the way, which has many fans wondering if the level of sexy scenes would continue. While Gabaldon admitted that she wasn’t sure how many sex scenes will be included, she did share that there will be a lot of sensual elements.
“I’m not sure exactly, there is quite a bit of what you might call sexual behavior. But none of it is gratuitous,” she stated.
The new season of Outlander is an adaptation of Gabaldon’s book, Dragonfly in Amber. Jamie and Claire’s main goal this season is to prevent the Jacobite Rebellion in order to save Scottish traditions. In order to accomplish this goal, fans will watch the time-traveling couple infiltrate the upper class of Paris and attempt to change history.
The second season of Outlander continues Saturday nights on Starz.
[Image via Starz]