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‘Waters Of Mars’ Soaks BBCA In Viewers

Latest ‘Doctor Who’ special gives cabler best-ever primetime audience

It’s not even David Tennant’s final episode, yet “Doctor Who” is making history for BBC America.

“Waters of Mars,” the latest “Doctor Who” special that had originally aired at the end of November in the United Kingdom, attracted 1.1 million viewers for BBC America Saturday, marking that cable channel’s best primetime numbers … ever.

That audience was enough to rank BBCA No. 13 in coverage rating among ad-supported cable channels, a very strong finish. And there could be more to come for BBCA, especially as it gears up to air the final two episodes starring Tennant a day after their original airing on BBC in the United Kingdom.

“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,” said Richard De Croce, senior vice president of programming for BBCA, in a release. “Tennant’s remaining two specials, ‘The End of Time Part 1 and Part 2, are the most anticipated episodes in the history of the series, which is why we’re airing them just a day after their U.K. premiere.”

“Waters of Mars” originally attracted 9.1 million viewers on BBC in the United Kingdom, well ahead of the 8.1 million viewers that gave “Planet of the Dead” a shot with former “Bionic Woman” star Michelle Ryan.

The final two episodes of Tennant’s “Doctor Who” (and thus, also executive producers Russell T. Davies’ and Julie Gardner’s “Doctor Who”) airs Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 on BBCA, following its Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 airing on BBC in the United Kingdom.

Alpha Waves Radio, Airlock Alpha’s online podcast, will host a live call-in show talking about the final two episodes as well as Tennant’s run on “Doctor Who” Sunday, Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. ET at The most recent podcast version of Alpha Waves includes a roundtable discussion with David Tennant and Julie Gardner conducted with reporters last July at San Diego Comic-Con. To hear that show, click here.

“End of Time, Part 1” airs Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. ET, and “End of Time, Part 2” airs Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET on BBC America. Guests include John Simm, Timothy Dalton, Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins.

Both episodes were written by outgoing showrunner Russell T. Davies and directed by Euros Lyn, who fans should remember for his efforts in helming the “Torchwood: Children of Earth” miniseries.

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