Starz; Robin Marchant/Getty Images
Lynette Rice
January 12, 2018 AT 02:49 PM EST

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht didn’t put Outlander fans out of their misery today by saying there will be a season 5 and 6 pickup, but he did say he’s having “productive discussions about the future of the show” with Sony TV.

“I wouldn’t worry too much about that,” Albrecht said when asked about a possible renewal of the time-traveling drama. He reminded reporters who gathered Friday for the annual Television Critics Association that Diana Gabaldon has written eight books in the Outlander series and has a ninth on the way.

“We have joined the legions of fans of Outlander around the world,” he said. “Our biggest problem is we don’t kill Caitriona [Balfe] and Sam [Heughan] along the way. The two of them are fantastic and deserve every bit of the accolades they have received.”

Earning a two-season order is especially helpful to executive producer Ronald D. Moore and his band of merry producers, given the epic amount of time and planning needed to make the time-traveling series. If Sassenachs will recall, season 3 and 4 were ordered at the same time.

But as EW has learned, the challenge is figuring out how to adapt each book for future seasons. Given the depth of Gabaldon’s rich narrative, is it better two devote two seasons to one book?  There’s also the question of Moore’s continued involvement. The man’s a brand now. How much time will he be able to devote to the series when he’s in such demand elsewhere?

Production on season 4 is already underway. In fact, Starz will air a teaser from the first episode this Sunday night.

Outlander, which was 2017’s second most viewed premium scripted series among women behind Game of Thrones, expected to return in October.

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