'Doctor Who' Special Propels BBC America to Best Prime Ever


Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars on Saturday delivered BBC America its highest-ever primetime rating and delivery in total viewers and adults ages 25-54.

It was the first of three Doctor Who specials airing three straight Saturdays on the network, the finale to David Tennant's era as the Tenth Doctor.

More than 1.1 million viewers watched the program on Saturday, ranking BBC America 13th in coverage rating during the premiere among ad-supported cable nets for adults 25-54, the network said, citing Nielsen live plus same day DVR data.

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars

The Brit-flavored network surrounded the sci-fi show with related programming on Dec. 19, including two "inside" specials about the series, two earlier-airedDoctor Who special episodes and an episode of The Graham Norton Show about Doctor Who.

"The final specials starring David Tennant have opened the door for new audiences to this iconic series while taking longtime fans on an incredible journey," Richard De Croce, SVP of programming at BBC America, said in a release. "Tennant's remaining two specials, The End of Time, Part One and Part Two, are the most anticipated episodes in the history of the series -- which is why we're airing them just a day after their UK premiere."

The final two End of Time specials premiere Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on BBCA. Guest stars include John Simm, Timothy Dalton, Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins. Both specials are written by lead writer and executive producer Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn.

Following the specials, the Tenth Doctor will regenerate into actor Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, whose adventures will begin on BBC America in 2010. BAFTA award-winning writer Steven Moffat is the new lead writer and executive producer.