How does Outlander play to STARZ’s ‘premium female audience’?

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

Outlander is pretty much safe on STARZ as it plays to the network’s ‘premium female audience’. Now there’s a debate over why that is.

After the STARZ TCA, COO Jeremy Hirsch commented to The Hollywood Reporter that Outlander plays to STARZ’s “premium female audience” for two reasons. The first is the strong and independent woman in Claire and the second is for the eye candy.

Diana Gabaldon tweeted out that the latter wasn’t quite the case. According to her, she’s not seen women comment on Sam Heughan without his shirt off. I don’t doubt that, but there are certainly plenty of women who have commented about him. And it’s not just because of the scars when Jamie reveals them to Claire.

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When you look at the Outlander Facebook groups, there are plenty of women who admire Sam’s figure. There are lots of times GIFs involving Sam with barely any clothes on (usually from the first season) are shared because that’s simply what many of the women in the group like.

It’s not the only reason, but Hirsch is certainly not wrong in bringing up the subject. Some people do watch the series because of the nudity, especially Sam Heughan’s nudity.

Of course, there are many others who watch the series for other reasons. Personally, I love watching TV shows with strong and well-developed female characters. Yes, seeing Sam Heughan is nice, but that wouldn’t keep me watching if it wasn’t for the well-written series. And I do appreciate the intelligence within the story.

At the same time, some of my favorite Jamie moments have been the most emotional ones. They’ve been when Sam Heughan has had a chance to fully show off his acting caliber. But I’m not everyone else, and it’s important to understand why individual people watch the show.

I also think the love story woven into the history and the drama is enough to draw female fans in. Many women love romance. They love a good story that takes them from A to B and beyond in a relationship. Often, I see fans commenting on the relationship between Claire and Jamie (even going as far as saying they skip the parts that involve other characters because there’s not enough of the Frasers).

I don’t think Hirsch’s comments about the eye candy was really that off, or even wrong. Everyone has a reason to watch a show and this is something that STARZ needs to consider. It’s not easy to determine if a show is going to be for a female audience.

The female audience is the priority for the original programming by the sounds of things. This is great news for Outlander. Whatever the reason, the show is clearly a win with the women. It would be nice to say that Diana Gabaldon is 100% correct in that it’s the story, the characters, and the relationship between Claire and Jamie. However, there are plenty of women out there who want the eye candy.

That’s what makes it difficult for STARZ. It’s about offering something for all those wants and opinions.

Next. 25 best Claire and Jamie moments on Outlander so far. dark

Why do you watch Outlander? What draws you in as a woman? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 5 filming continues throughout summer. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.