'BBC America' to Simulcast 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special 'The Day of the Doctor'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

October 1st, 2013

Doctor Who 50th anniversary

via press release:

BBC AMERICA to Simulcast Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special on November 23


US broadcast part of global simulcast with over 75 countries

New York – October 1, 2013 – Announced today, BBC AMERICA will simulcast the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor, in the U.S. on November 23, 2013. For the first time ever, the world’s longest running and most successful sci-fi series will be broadcast simultaneously to millions of viewers worldwide in a global simulcast.


From the U.S. to the UK, Canada to Colombia, Brazil to Botswana and Myanmar to Mexico, fans in at least 75 countries spanning six continents will be able to enjoy the episode at the same time as the UK, with more countries expected to be confirmed within the next month. The one-off special stars Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor), Jenna Coleman (companion Clara), David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) with Billie Piper and John Hurt.


In addition, BBC AMERICA will be dedicating an entire week to Doctor Who in November, including the new film An Adventure in Space and Time, marathons and new specials to be announced.


On top of the worldwide TV broadcast, BBC AMERICA will announce in the coming weeks details of select 3D screenings of the anniversary episode in theatres in the U.S.


“Few TV shows can still lay claim to being appointment viewing but Doctor Who takes this to another level. In its 50th Anniversary year we wanted to create a truly international event for Doctor Who fans in as many countries as possible and the simultaneous broadcast and cinema screening of the special across so many countries will make for a fitting birthday tribute to our Time Lord,” states Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide.


Steven Moffat, Showrunner for Doctor Who and Executive Producer of the 50th Anniversary episode adds: “The Doctor has always been a time traveller - now he's travelling time zones. On the 23rd of November, it won't be the bad guys conquering the Earth - everywhere it will be The Day of the Doctor!”


In London, birthplace of the iconic series, the 50th Anniversary weekend will also see over 20,000 fans gather at the ExCel exhibition and convention centre for the official celebration event which will feature appearances from cast old and new including Matt Smith and former Doctors Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Tom Baker.


Doctor Who is BBC AMERICA’s highest rated series. Since 1963, Doctor Who has been one of the best loved dramas and certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful sci-fi series ever.  The show has received numerous awards across its 50 years and has seen huge commercial success with over 10 million DVDs and 8 million action figures sold globally.  BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK broadcaster distributes Doctor Who to over 200 territories across the world.



BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including two Emmys®, five Golden Globes® and eleven Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in more than 80 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting www.press.bbcamerica.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/bbcamerica.

  • Fleur

    Maybe I missed something but does this mean I have to watch it at some loo loo time like 2 a.m.? Or, worse, people in the UK have to? #lovemydvr

  • Uktvfan

    The DW special will air in the evening in the UK, probably starting sometime between 6 and 8 pm, so adjust for your time zone (US East Coast starting sometime between 1 and 3 pm, etc.). I’d bet that most worldwide channels will repeat the special in primetime.

  • MockingbirdGirl

    @Fleur – Since BBC America is also launching new programming that night, I assume they will both broadcast it simultaneously and re-broadcast it in prime time. It’s likely the broadcast will start during the prime family hour — between 5:15 and 6:15 GMT.

  • Benjamin

    When the simulcast plan was originally announced this Summer, the BBC mentioned an 8PM GMT start time in the UK. That would make a 3PM EST start time on BBC America (Noon or 3PM PST, depending on whether BBC America delays the show on the West Coast feed for Cable subscribers or gets it right for a true simulcast, deviating from the regular 3 hour feed delay).

    The 8PM start time vanished from all subsequent reports, and the BBC hates to announce air times on BBC One till the last minute, so don’t expect to know the exact start time till sometime in November.

    BBC America ran the most recent half-season episodes 4 times per premiere night. I’ll predict a 7 or 7:30 start time for the first repeat to lead into the US premiere of new drama Atlantis at 9PM, then two more repeats followed by Atlantis encores.

    If we get a top 100 shows for Saturday November 23 list, I expect the premiere showing of Doctor Who will do very well on it.

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