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US Deal! Sci-Fi Channel Gets Doctor Who in March!

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  • Benjamin Elliott
    US Doctor Who fans are getting Doctor Who on the Sci-Fi Channel http://www.scifi.com Fridays at 9PM Eastern starting in March (probably March 17). It will air
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2006
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      US Doctor Who fans are getting Doctor Who on the Sci-Fi Channel
      http://www.scifi.com 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
      episodes.

      Here is the BBC press release, followed by a few thoughts of my own.
      BTW, the BBC Doctor Who front page http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho
      has a nice display of fireworks, the White House, and the TARDIS -
      may require flash to work right and it's a little noisy.:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/scifi.shtml

      ---------------------------------------
      SCI FI Channel and BBC Worldwide Americas announced today a major
      licensing deal for the first series of the latest Doctor Who
      adventures.

      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
      programming.

      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
      Friday.

      Outpost Gallifrey http://www.gallifreyone.com 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
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thisweekindoctorwho
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/torchwood

      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
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