This week we reported that The Woman Who Fell to Earth secured Doctor Who’s highest viewing figures in the UK for five years, and won the week for only for the fifth time ever. Now comes the news of success for BBC America, where it has become the fastest growing drama on US screens.
BBC America has revealed that the premiere of Doctor Who Series 11 was watched by 2.6m subscribers on the day. The viewing figures come from Nielsen, the American equivalent of BARB. This includes 1.4m tuning in for the simulcast at 1.45pm EST and an additional 1.2m for the evening repeats.
All in all, this means that across both sides of the Atlantic, 8.1m viewers sat down at 6.45pm GMT to watch Jodie Whittaker’s debut live on television. Growing to a massive 10.9m people by the end of that day. BBC America have yet to release the figures for the full seven days so this number will still grow. But it means that the global audience for the first episode of Doctor Who will have been well above 13.5m. And this doesn’t even include the showing on ABC in Australia, or in other markets.
The 2.6m viewing figure for BBC America also includes 1.2m in the valuable 18-25 year olds demographic. An achievement doubly impressive when you consider that many of those audience members would have been as young as three years old when Rose aired. Across its history, Doctor Who’s lifeblood has been its ability to generate new audiences among upcoming generations. This result indicates that power remains undiminished in Chris Chibnall’s era as showrunner.
The Woman Who Fell to Earth saw BBCA audiences grow 48% from the previous Doctor Who season premiere
Doctor Who was also the most watched program in key demographics across all cable packages in the United States. Meanwhile, in a similar story to the British ratings, it gained higher viewing figures on BBCA than for several years. Its numbers are higher even than The Christmas Invasion or The Eleventh Hour (David Tennant and Matt Smith’s debuts). And it more than doubled the viewing figures for the previous episode Twice Upon a Time.
BBC America had conducted a strong campaign in support of the premiere. This included a special simulcast showing of the episode at Madison Square Garden as part of New York Comic Con. Meanwhile the adverts promoting the premiere were innovative and clever. Doctor Who got an Entertainment Weekly cover and an unprecedented special edition of Newsweek dedicated to it. Ultimately, Doctor Who became the #1 most searched program on social media. It was also the #1 most talked about program on social media with 93% positive sentiment.
Unsurprisingly, BBC America have expressed great pleasure at the viewing figures.
“At the unlikely time of 1:45pm, fans and new viewers came together at New York Comic Con and around the country for a global simulcast, and embraced this fresh era of Doctor Who. To see such growth for a 55-year-old franchise is rather unusual and entirely brilliant,” said BBC America President and GM Sarah Barnett. “Jodie Whittaker plays The Doctor with great gusto, power, humor and charisma. She, along with Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens, have ushered in a new Who that is inclusive and thrilling.”
Doctor Who is a BBC Studios/BBC America co-production
BBC America is an American pay television network that is jointly owned by BBC Studios and AMC Networks. Doctor Who is a joint co-production between BBC America and BBC Studios.
With a new Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and new friends Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yasmin (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh), this first season of Doctor Who from new showrunner Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens welcomes back fans and invites those who are new to Who. The new season is packed full of action, humor, emotion, and adventures through space and time.
The Doctor Who adventure continues…
Doctor Who continues this Sunday at 6.55pm GMT on BBC One and at 8pm EST on BBC America with Rosa by Malorie Blackman. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair). Rosa guest stars Vinette Robinson as Rosa Parks and Josh Bowman as Krasko.
“If she can live here her whole life, a couple of hours ain’t gonna kill me. They ain’t gonna kill me, right?” Montgomery, Alabama. 1955. The Doctor and her friends find themselves in the Deep South of America. As they encounter a seamstress by the name of Rosa Parks, they begin to wonder: is someone attempting to change history?