There seems to be a small case of miscommunication over at Starz. How embarrassing. It all started when Starz, in a spurt of excitement because, hey, it was Friday and everyone gets a little goofy when it’s the weekend, made an announcement it shouldn’t have. Whoever was operating the official Starz Network twitter wanted the whole world to know the lead for the new series Outlander had been cast.
The tweet read, “It’s #FollowFriday here at #STARZ. Follow Sam Heughan (@Heughan) who will play the role of Jamie Fraser in #OutlanderSTARZ. #FF.” For the uninitiated and tweetless, Follow Friday is when a Twitter user would suggest someone whose tweets are worth following, specifically on a Friday. It’s a silly practice and comes off as just a large circle jerk, but it’s what this social network does. And in this case, the news of Sam Heughan taking the role of Jamie Fraser was notable enough to bring attention to the Friday tradition. New sources such as Deadline picked up the tweet rather quickly and the word started to spread.
Unfortunately, the word was prematurely spoken. The tweet was removed and a press rep came out to say that, although Heughan is in talks, no deal has been finalized. He might still come out with the part, but at this time he isn’t locked in. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander book series the show is based on, reiterated this in a tweet: “I can’t confirm that contract is signed, but saw @heughan audition tapes. #jawdrop.” At the very least it sounds like Heughan made a positive impression and is the guy we should want to see as Jamie Fraser.
The very next day, however, it was officially stated Heughan had the part. Gabaldon was able to tweet ”I am UTTERLY delighted to confirm that Sam @Heughan is cast as Jamie Fraser in #Outlander_Starz #Outlander.“
Chances are you haven’t heard of Heughan. A Scottish actor, he’s done work in 2007’s A Very British Sex Scandal and 2009’s Doctors. Outlander is his first American production and a big one at that. Gabaldon’s series currently consists of seven books with an eighth on its way. That’s a lot of material; meaning Outlander the TV series could run for a number of years.