BEVERLY HILLS , Calif., July 11 (UPI) -- Starz says it will offer a free sneak peek at the first episode of its new historical romance Outlander a full week before its official premiere on the pay cable network.
The television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's best-selling novel is scheduled to debut on Starz Aug. 9, but it also will be available via multiple television and online platforms, starting Aug. 2.
Viewers will be able to watch the first episode for free through select cable, satellite and telco affiliates, as well as online through websites such as Starz.com/Outlander, the Starz Outlander Twitter page, the Starz YouTube page, Starz Outlander Facebook Page and the free STARZ PLAY app.
The first eight episodes of the 16-episode first season will air over eight consecutive Saturdays through Sept. 27, with the second half scheduled to continue in early 2015.
At the heart of the series is Claire, a happily married, British former World War II nurse, who is magically transported to 18th-century Scotland where she falls in love with Scottish warrior Jamie, while desperately trying to make her way back home. Caitriona Balfe plays Claire and Sam Heughan plays Jamie.
"We've heard from fans the world over who are anxiously awaiting to see how we've brought Claire and Jamie to life in what may possibly be the most highly anticipated series in Starz history," Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht said in a statement Friday. "Our Outlander sampling strategy serves the dual purpose of giving early access to the series premiere for those fans thirsting to watch it as soon as possible, as well as providing a vehicle that introduces the Starz experience to prospective new subscribers who are eager to learn all about this great new series."