EXCLUSIVE: Starz has closed a deal to develop Outlander, a drama series based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore will write the series adaptation, with Jim Kohlberg’s Story Mining and Supply Co producing. Sony Pictures TV is behind the project after acquiring rights to the books in the summer and attaching Moore, who is under an overall deal at the studio, to develop and write a series targeted for cable networks.
Outlander spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure. It follows Claire, a married WWII combat nurse, who mistakenly steps back in time to year 1743 where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world of adventure that sends her on the run and threatens her life. When Claire is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, it ignites a passionate affair that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Outlander is the latest Starz drama project set centuries in the past, along with hit Spartacus and the upcoming Da Vinci’s Demons, Black Sails, Marco Polo and The White Queen.
The seven-book Outlander series has sold over 20 million copies. An eighth novel is slated to come out next year. The books have developed passionate fan following, with multiple companies running “Jamie and Claire” tours of Scotland, where they visit locations from the books.
Star Trek veteran Moore, repped by CAA, started his writing career on Next Generation and also spent five years on Deep Space Nine. He then served as co-executive producer/co-showrunner on the WB’s Roswell and as executive producer/showrunner on HBO’s Carnivale before segueing to Battlestar Galactica.