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‘Doctor Who’ Leads BBC America To Record Numbers

David Tennant finale watched by 1.3 million viewers

It was a solid start to 2010 for BBC America, as its decision to air the final two episodes of David Tennant in “Doctor Who” within 36 hours of its United Kingdom broadcast resulted in record numbers for the up-and-coming cable channel.

“The End of Time Part 2” on BBCA Jan. 2 attracted 1.3 million viewers over three airings, according to a release from the cable channel. This comes on the heels of the special leading into the two-part finale, “Waters of Mars,” attracting the previous record of 1.1 million.

That wasn’t all BBCA got to celebrate. The two final episodes featuring Tennant occupied both the Nos. 1 and 2 spots for Top TV Episodes at Apple Inc.’s iTunes Store in the United States soon after they were released for sale. All of Tennant’s final specials are available to purchase and download at the iTunes Store, BBCA said.

“Demons,” a new series on BBCA, broke records at the cabler for best viewership for a premiere. It got a boost from a “Doctor Who” lead-in, as well as a teaser for Matt Smith taking over the title role of the show that aired during the first commercial break.

All of the “Doctor Who” specials will be released in a five-disc DVD set Feb. 2, beginning with the 2008 Christmas Special “The Next Doctor.” It will include “Planet of the Dead,” “The Waters of Mars,” both parts of “The End of Time” and a 16-page booklet with an introduction written by Tenant himself.

New episodes of “Doctor Who” starring Smith will premiere in the spring both on BBC in the United Kingdom and BBC America.

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