Outlander Season 4 2018

Outlander nation, prepare to stay parched a little longer: Droughtlander is not ending anytime soon.

Starz announced Friday that the fifth season of Outlander won’t return until early 2020. Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey A. Hirsch shared the dark news at the Television Critics Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. He said the decision was based solely on a scheduling strategy.

“Everything we do is based on delivery, trying to have something on the air to serve that premium female audience,” he told reporters. “We have some shows coming before like Power that serve the general market. It’s more about scheduling around that digital experience.”

Last season, the series returned in the fall and wrapped in January of this year. Production on the next 12 episodes began in the spring, though Starz didn’t announce the actual start date until April 16.

Outlander Season 5 2020
Credit: Aimee Spinks/Starz

What’s up with the delays? Executive Producer Matthew B. Roberts recently told EW that those kinds of announcements were up to Starz and Sony, which produces the drama. “But we in the writers’ room dug right in. We started working and saying, ‘okay, how are we going to break down these books?’ Because, as you know, they get kind of bigger as they go.”

The fifth season is based on The Fiery Cross, the fifth book in Diana Gabaldon‘s best-selling book series. The story will continue in colonial America as the Frasers build their new life on their namesake ridge.

“Scotland once again plays North Carolina very well, and we’re jumping out to different locations,” teases Roberts. “I don’t want a place where we’ve been before. If we go to [Jocasta’s] estate and film there, I want to go to every section of that estate …our new locations manager is fantastic and knows Scotland well. He’s been coming at it with fresh eyes and we’ve really found a few amazing new places that I’m really excited to show the fans. Breathtaking is the word I used when I saw it the first time.”

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Outlander Season 4 2018

Diana Gabaldon's genre-bending time-travel novels come to life in the Starz series.

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