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.
Of course there are some American’s who manged to watch the new Doctor Who via “alternative” channels. This is still good news since the SCI FI channel, with the exception of the new Battlestar Galactica, has been lacking any good new content. Moving the release date of the DVD kind of sucks, but is perfectly understandable.