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Thursday 12th January 2006

US Deal! Sci-Fi Channel Gets Doctor Who in March!
(posted 12th Jan 2006, 10:29pm - TWIDW post #0374)
US Doctor Who fans are getting Doctor Who on the Sci-Fi Channel Fridays at 9PM Eastern starting in March (probably March 17).
It will air as part of Sci-Fi Friday, following the conclusion of
the current seasons of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and
Battlestar Galactica. The news broke today (January 12). This is the
reason behind the delay of the R1 Series One DVD set, which will now
be released on Tuesday July 4, 2006 (US Independence Day).
This will be Series One - the 13 Christopher Eccleston/Billie Piper
Here is the BBC press release, followed by a few thoughts of my own.
BTW, the BBC Doctor Who front page
has a nice display of fireworks, the White House, and the TARDIS -
may require flash to work right and it's a little noisy.:
SCI FI Channel and BBC Worldwide Americas announced today a major
licensing deal for the first series of the latest Doctor Who
The 13-part drama is about a mysterious time-travelling adventurer
known simply as "The Doctor" (Christopher Eccleston) and his
companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). The Doctor and Rose risk death
and danger, battling aliens and monsters.
The deal, brokered by Lisa Hofer, Director Co-Production & Sales,
BBC Worldwide Americas, grants SCI FI Channel the first run rights
for series one with an option for series two. The award-winning
series will premiere on SCI FI beginning in March, airing Friday
nights at 9.00pm.
Russell T Davies, Head Writer and Executive Producer told us: "The
Doctor's made all sorts of journeys in Time and Space, but this is
one of his most exciting yet! I'm a huge fan of the SCI FI Channel,
and I'm delighted that Doctor Who is appearing on a channel that
supports and enhances the entire genre."
"With its rich history of imaginative storytelling, Doctor Who is a
true sci-fi classic," stated Thomas P. Vitale, SCI FI's Senior Vice
President, Programming & Original Movies. "We're excited to add the
show to our lineup."
Commenting on the deal Candace Carlisle, Senior Vice President, BBC
Worldwide Americas, said: "The new production has fantastic
storylines and production values and has already gained an iconic
status around the world. SCI FI Channel is the perfect home for the
show and will introduce Doctor Who to a whole new generation of fans
in the US."
In addition, BBC Video has moved the US release date of the DVD from
February 2006 to July 4, 2006 to capitalize on the exposure from the
TV broadcast. As part of the deal, BBC Video and SCI FI Channel have
agreed to work together on joint marketing promotions to support the
brand launch.
Burton Cromer, Vice President, Consumer Products, BBC Worldwide
Americas said: "We are delighted to be working with SCI FI Channel
on the launch of this exciting new take on Doctor Who. The
additional marketing support from SCI FI, as well their ability to
reach such a broad audience base, made moving the release date an
easy decision."
Executive Produced by Russell T Davies (lead writer) and Julie
Gardner, the first series of Doctor Who attracted huge ratings and
received critical acclaim when it aired on BBC ONE in March 2005.
This is, in my opinion, great news for US fans. Sci-Fi now airs
first run Science Fiction shows in 16:9 letterbox. Sci-Fi Friday is
their most promoted programming other than mini-series. I would not
be surprised if they make a special or two trying to hype interest
in the show. They also have a recent practice of repeating the first
few episodes of a show in a marathon for viewers who hear about it
after the premiere to catch up. Sci-Fi is also owned by NBC
Universal, so there is the possibility of promotion across the
various channels in their portfolio (NBC, Telemundo, CNBC, MSNBC,
USA, Bravo, Sleuth, and Universal HD). Should be interesting.
Sci-Fi's March schedulebot information should go online sometime
between February 1 and February 5. Episode titles won't appear
immediately. There should be enough information to verify the
premiere date, how many times each episode is airing, if they'll be
airing 2 episodes for the premiere as has happened with Stargate
Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica, and if there will be any special
Assuming one episode airs per week, expect a pre-emption on Friday,
May 26, as Sci-Fi Channel has aired a Memorial Day Weekend movie
marathon for at least the last 4 years that always pre-empts Sci-Fi
Outpost Gallifrey is probably acquiring
further information as we speak.
Nice to see Doctor Who finally getting telecast in the US. And
here's hoping all other countries in the world that don't have the
show yet will get it soon.
Benjamin Elliott - This Week In Doctor Who
PS - No, we don't know what this will mean for the repeats of the classic series, which currently air on Maryland Public TV and Iowa Public TV