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Move over, HBO: Starz will move original series to Sunday nights

Catriona Balfe and Sam Heughan star in the Starz original series "Outlander."
Catriona Balfe and Sam Heughan star in the Starz original series “Outlander.”
(Neil Davidson/Starz)

Sorry, TV fans. Your Sunday-night DVR pileup is about to get even worse.

Beginning this summer, Starz will move its original series to Sundays, unofficially the most prestigious night on the small screen.

The switch will start with the Season 3 premieres of “Power” and “Survivor’s Remorse” on July 17 and 24, respectively, and will continue for other returning originals, including the time-travel adventure “Outlander.” Until now, the network’s original series primarily have aired on Saturdays.

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As Starz Chief Executive Chris Albrecht told the Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, the change is intended to generate more buzz and awards recognition for Starz programming.

The premium cable network has gotten more favorable notices from critics in recent years but doesn’t quite dominate the virtual watercooler the way it potentially could because of the Saturday timing of its shows.

Albrecht helped turn Sunday nights into a destination for prestige television during his tenure as chairman and chief executive of HBO, with groundbreaking hit series like “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”

Since then, other networks, including AMC, Showtime and even broadcasters like CBS, have followed suit, programming their most acclaimed and ambitious shows on Sundays.

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This has created a bit of a dilemma in the era of Peak TV, with avid watchers maxing out their DVR space on Sunday nights. The move will put Starz’s shows head-to-head with fare such as “Game of Thrones,” “Silicon Valley” and “Veep” on HBO, “Homeland” and “Billions” on “Showtime” and “The Walking Dead” on AMC.

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