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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Doctor Who thing of the day: DW the top show on U.S. iTunes

Are you watching Doctor Who in the U.S.? Are you watching it after downloading it from iTunes? If so, you’re not alone. From the BBC Media Centre:

Doctor Who named top TV show in US charts

Series six of the world’s longest running science fiction TV series Doctor Who has pipped US home-grown favourites such as Dexter, The Walking Dead and Glee to become 2011’s most downloaded show (season) on iTunes in America.

The BBC Wales-produced series, lead written by Steven Moffat and starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston, saw the season’s two-part opener feature a storyline set in various US locations including Utah and The White House’s Oval Office. It was also the first Doctor Who episode ever to be filmed in the country.

Steven Moffat, the series’ Lead Writer and Executive Producer commented: “This is incredibly exciting news. It’s an honour to be on the same list as all those shows, let alone at the very top. And for a British show to have achieved this in the US is absolutely remarkable. Next, the universe!”

My first thought was that maybe this isn’t such a big deal, because BBC America is not available in the majority of homes — only around 70 million have it on their cable systems — which means that if you want to watch the show legitimately, iTunes is one of your few options (Amazon on Demand is another). But it turns out that the subscriber bases for the networks of other shows on the list are far smaller: HBO has about 28 million and Showtime about 20 million subscribers each, for instance.

So maybe this is a big deal.

Reader Henry, who read my mind and sent in the same BBC Media Centre link just as I was composing this post, writes:

That is saying something in that there still is not a strong mention of the shows popularity in mainstream here in the US as one would like. But it is growing dramatically and is night and day compared to just a few years back.

Thank god for people like Craig Ferguson and Chris Hardwick who love the show dearly and mention it on their respective shows.

Although really just the start, this is a great victory for the show. We are showing that many Americans do love WHO; and many as passionate as the Brits.


(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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