‘Doctor Who’ Premiere Smashes Ratings Record for BBC America

Season premiere of series drew 1.3 million, breaking the record set by last year's season debut

It's no mystery — "Doctor Who" is a big ratings winner for BBC America.

The channel announced that the season premiere of the sci-fi-series reboot Saturday was BBC America's highest-rated telecast ever, drawing nearly 1.3 million — 71,000 more viewers than the previous record-holder, which just happened to be April 2010's "Dr. Who" season premiere.

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The series has gone through several incarnations since debuting on BBC in 1963. The rebooted version stars Matt Smith as the titular time-and-space traveler and Karen Gillan as his traveling partner, Amy.

Saturday's season opener also proved to be a considerable driver of traffic to BBC America's Web site. Of the people who looked at the site on Saturday, 74 percent were new visitors.
The premiere, which was titled "The Impossible Astronaut" and is the first installment of a two-parter, marked a departure for the series in that it was the first "Doctor Who" episode filmed in the United States.