THE LONG WAIT FOR FANS IS OVER!
CAITRIONA BALFE CAST AS CLAIRE RANDALL IN STARZ AND SONY PICTURES TV'S "OUTLANDER"
New STARZ Original Series Based on Diana Gabaldon's International Blockbuster Novels
From "Battlestar Galactica" Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore
Beverly Hills, Calif., September 11, 2013 - Starz in association with Sony Pictures Television has announced today that Caitriona Balfe will play the role of Claire Randall in the original series "Outlander," adapted from Diana Gabaldon's international best-selling books, which will premiere on STARZ in 2014. The quick-witted, stubborn but lovely, English "sassenach" Claire Randall, has been adored worldwide by fans since the first of the seven-book series appeared in 1991. The series has since sold more than 25 million copies and graced the New York Times best-seller list six times. In the two months since casting the first lead character of Jamie Fraser, thousands of Outlander fans have started online campaigns, "Claire Watch 2013" and "Free Claire" in anticipation of today's announcement.
Diana Gabaldon said, "Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did. The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, 'There she is!' She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks."
"The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show. Outlander is told from Claire's point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her," said Executive Producer, Ronald D. Moore. "Caitriona wasn't on anyone's radar, she wasn't on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special. Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we'd found our Claire. At its heart, Outlander is the story of two people -- Claire and Jamie -- their loves and losses, their adventures and tragedies, and now we finally have them both."
The "Outlander" series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Caitriona Balfe can next be seen in Escape Plan for Summit/Lionsgate, starring opposite Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone. Her other credits include J.J. Abrams' Paramount feature Super 8 as well as Bryan Singer and Jason Taylor's digital series "H+." Balfe is repped by Kim Callahan at Industry Entertainment, Emptage Hallett in the UK and attorney Darren Trattner.
Balfe joins previously announced cast members Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser), Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall), Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie), Gary Lewis (Colum MacKenzie), Duncan Lacroix (Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser), Annette Badland (Mrs. Fitzgibbons) and Stephen Walters (Angus Mhor).
The first two episodes of the series will be written by executive producer, Ronald D. Moore ("Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: The Next Generation") and directed by John Dahl ("Dexter," "Breaking Bad," "Justified"). Ronald D. Moore and Jim Kohlberg are executive producers of "Outlander," which is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The series will begin filming in Scotland in September 2013.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of June 30, 2013, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 56.9 million subscribers, including 21.8 million at STARZ, and 35.1 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R), along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX(R), air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (http://www.sonypicturestelevision.com), a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, around the world and for a multitude of platforms. In addition to one of the industry's largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) boasts a current program slate that includes top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT has 18 wholly-owned or joint venture production companies in 15 countries outside the U.S. and also maintains offices in 32 countries. SPT's worldwide television networks portfolio includes 124 channel feeds available in 159 countries, reaching more than 800 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE's premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns production company Embassy Row and is a part owner of cable channel Game Show Network (GSN), 3D channel 3net, premier horror/thriller website and VOD service FEARnet and national U.S media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premier national advertising sales companies and handles the commercial inventory in SPT's syndicated series as well as in U.S. digital businesses including FEARnet, DrOz.com and PlayStation.
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