‘Outlander’ To Premiere Early August 2, ‘Sassenach’ Will Stream Free Online

Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s epic literary saga Outlander are already very excited for the television adaptation to appear next month on Starz, and more good news was just announced about the long-awaited debut in August.

In case you missed it, Outlander is a well-read and much-beloved standout book in the supernatural slash romance slash adventure genre, perched at a precipice once confidently occupied by HBO’s True Blood.

The book and ostensibly the TV series is based on a set of novels penned by Gabaldon, which focus on World War II nurse Claire Randall and a series of events that begins when she is dragged back through time in Scotland from that era to 1743.

According to Variety, fans of Outlander, who have waited many years for an on-screen look at their favored book characters, will not only get to see the show early — but anyone can watch:

“The cabler will give approximately 82 million multichannel video households free access to the premiere episode, ‘Sassenach,’ beginning August 2. Viewers will be able to watch the first episode via linear, on-demand and online sampling, through cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the U.S., and online through Starz.com’s Outlander page, the official ‘Outlander’ Twitter page, Starz’s YouTube and Facebook pages and the Starz Play app. The show will have its worldwide TV premiere on August 9 at 9 pm.”

If you’ve read the books, you recognize the first episode’s title — “Sassenach” — as the affectionately insulting term Jamie Fraser calls Claire, who is clearly an outsider (or “outlander”) when they first meet.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht announced the Outlander news today, saying in a statement:

“We’ve heard from fans the world over who are anxiously awaiting to see how we’ve brought Claire and Jamie to life in what may possibly be the most highly anticipated series in Starz history… Our ‘Outlander’ sampling strategy serves the dual purpose of giving early access to the series premiere for those fans thirsting to watch it as soon as possible, as well as providing a vehicle that introduces the Starz experience to prospective new subscribers who are eager to learn all about this great new series.”

Fans can also get excited over the projected future of Outlander on TV, as Starz execs seem to have faith in what they believe is destined to be a fan-favorite hit:

To keep tabs on Outlander and to watch the first episode free online, follow the Starz minisite (linked on the Facebook post above) for a list of viewing options.

[Image: Outlander, Starz]