Starz is making the first episode of its new series Outlander available in its entirety for free to viewers, beginning August 2, in advance of its worldwide premiere August 9 at 9 PM. The episode will be available on multiple TV and online platforms nationwide. The network said in advance of its TCA session today that first season of the series will be split in two, with the first eight episodes running over eight consecutive Saturdays through September 27; the second half of the 16-episode order is scheduled to continue in early 2015. Outlander is adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling books and executive produced by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica).

Starz 1 logoStarz estimates about 82 million multichannel video households will have access to the premiere episode via additional linear, on-demand and/or online sampling opportunities on select cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the U.S.  as well as online through select websites including, the Starz Outlander Twitter page, the Starz YouTube page, Starz Outlander Facebook Page and the free STARZ PLAY app for all U.S.-based users.

As part of the project’s launch campaign, Starz recently launched the microsite giving fans a social destination which aggregates the latest Outlander content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, fan blogs, etc.  and more. The first 24 hours clocked more than 138,000 page views with users spending an average 4:05 on the site.

Last January, as Outlander was in production on its freshman season and the cast and creators were making their show debut at the TV Press Tour,  Albrecht told Deadline he would be shocked if he didn’t order a second season on the series.

Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a married combat nurse from 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. There, she is forced to marry young Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), but a passionate relationship is ignited, leaving Claire’s heart torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. The series is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures TV.