Why Did The Outlander Showrunners Screen The ENTIRE First Episode of Season 3 At Comic Con?

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Most TV networks are dedicated to making sure their shows aren't leaked online ahead of their air dates. But at Comic Con this weekend, Starz made the unconventional decision to screen the season 3 premiere of Outlander, in its entirety, to a crowd of roughly 4,000 fans.
Apparently, spoilers and leaks weren't a big concern for the network. But after more than a year since the season 2 finale, fans were thrilled at the surprise. (Well, the fans who were at Comic Con were happy, anyway. Other fans tweeted and posted on the show's Facebook page that they were disappointed not to have seen the episode just because they weren't able to attend the convention.)
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Outlander author Diana Gabaldon wrote on Facebook that she, along with creator Ronald D. Moore and co-executive producer Maril Davis, snuck into the Comic Con crowd to watch how the fans reacted to the season 3 episode. "I remarked to Ron afterward, 'And they laughed in the right places, too!'" Gabaldon wrote in her Facebook post. (For Refinery29's full rundown on what to expect from Outlander season 3, click here — the cast revealed plenty of details at Comic Con, in addition to the screening.)
Entertainment Weekly notes that several shows, like Lost and Fringe, have aired full-length pilots at Comic Cons in the past. But it's not typical for an established show.
Still, it's hard to imagine shows like Stranger Things or Game of Thrones revealing full episodes at Comic Con gatherings in the future. Although, with the Outlander precedent, it might be worth investing in a Starz panel next year — you never know what will happen.
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