×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jodie Whittaker to Return as ‘Doctor Who’ in 2020 Amid Strong U.S. Ratings

Doctor Who” will be back on global screens in early 2020, with Jodie Whittaker returning in her groundbreaking role as the show’s first regular female timelord. The show was renewed by the BBC amid mixed overnight but strong consolidated numbers in the U.K., and strong ratings in the U.S.

British viewers tuned in in droves to the first episode of the current season. With 11 million viewers (consolidated), it was the second-biggest drama audience of the year and the best launch for “Doctor Who” in a decade in the U.K.

Overnight ratings declined steadily over the course of the series, falling to 5 million for the ninth episode (7 million consolidated). Sunday’s finale delivered 5.3 million viewers. British tabloids have suggested that viewers tuned out because the new season was too “politically correct,” but the fall in overnight ratings is not unusual and follows that of earlier seasons.

It also reflects modern viewing patterns, with many fans and, notably, younger viewers watching the show on catch-up. The BBC said the average consolidated audience through the first eight episodes was 8.4 million, significantly above the last season of “Doctor Who,” starring Peter Capaldi, whose average was below 6 million. The current season was the second most-requested series on the BBC’s iPlayer in October, the busiest month ever for the catch-up service.

In the U.S., Whittaker and her team notched a ratings win for BBC America, which said it was the fastest-growing scripted show of the year. Ahead of Sunday’s final episode, BBC America reported that the show was up 47% season-on-season, with young female viewers driving the growth. The show averaged 1.6 million viewers through its first eight episodes in the U.S.

BBC America, which is a joint venture between the BBC and AMC, announced that the new season would land in early 2020 when the current run drew to a close Sunday. The BBC denied reports that production had slipped, noting that the show has previously had different launch dates. The current season was filmed from October 2017 to August 2018.

Fans of the iconic sci-fi series will still get some “Doctor Who” action in 2019, with a seasonal special starring Whittaker moving from its traditional Christmas Day slot to New Year’s Day on BBC One in the U.K. and BBC America in the U.S.

As the latest season got underway, Chris Chibnall, the program’s new showrunner, told Variety that the team was mindful of creating a show that stood shoulder to shoulder with the best that streaming giants like Netflix can offer. Chibnall will return as showrunner for the new season.

“We adore making this show and have been blown away by the response from audiences, so we can’t wait to bring more scares, more monsters and more Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole to BBC One,” Chibnall said.

More TV

  • YouTube TV

    YouTube TV Expanding to Cover Entire U.S., No International Launch Plans Right Now

    Soon, virtually anyone in the U.S. will be able to subscribe to YouTube TV, Google’s $40 monthly over-the-top internet television service aimed at cord-cutters. First launched in five cities in April 2016, YouTube TV has been available in the top 100 markets in the U.S., covering around 85% of households, for about a year. Starting [...]

  • NATPE: Turner Latin America, Dopamine Set

    NATPE: Turner Latin America, Dopamine Strike Three-Series Production Alliance (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — Turner Latin America and Mexico’s Dopamine, a Salinas Group company, have struck a production alliance to develop and produce three original series: “Tu parte del trato,” “Amarres” and “Coyatl.” The pact adds to the NATPE announcement on Monday of “Las Bravas F.C,” the first series in Turner Latin America’s five-year strategic production partnership [...]

  • Pol-ka at 25: Interview with Founder

    Pol-ka at 25: Adrian Suar Sets New Era Agenda

    MIAMI — Boldly taking on the challenges of TV’s future as it turns 25, Argentina’s Pol-ka Producciones, one of Latin America’s few historic independent TV companies, is turning to the past. Shooting from Jan. 2, but set in Buenos Aires from 1936 to 1945, “Argentina, Land of Passion and Revenge,” (“Argentina, Tierra de Amor y [...]

  • Pol-ka at 25: Highlights on its

    Pol-ka at 25: 2019’s Production Slate Highlights

    MADRID — Pol-ka’s banner titles straddle telenovelas and international-length series. Here are highlights, projects, productions and shows now screening packing one of the most ambitious slates of any Latin American company: ‘ARGENTINA, LAND OF PASSION AND REVENGE’ (Pol-ka) The big one, at least for free-to-air. A period piece, so far more expensive to shoot, so rarer [...]

  • NATPE Briefs: 'Judge Jerry' Sets EP,

    NATPE Briefs: 'Judge Jerry' Sets EP, Sony Pictures Pacts With 'Ugly Betty' Creator

    NBCUniversal’s “Judge Jerry” has set its production team and reached 90% clearance across the U.S. for its fall launch. The court show hosted by longtime talk show host Jerry Springer will be exec produced by Kerry Shannon, previously a producer on “Jerry Springer Show.” Leah Ponce and Joe Scott, alums of “Judge Judy” and other [...]

  • Tamron Hall Brings Her Truth and

    Tamron Hall Brings Her Truth and TV Training to Daytime Talk Show

    MIAMI — Tamron Hall is proud of her TV trifecta. For a few years, the former “Today” anchor could be found most weekdays airing on three networks at the same time. During her 2010-2016 tenure as a co-anchor of “Today’s” 9 a.m. hour, Hall would follow that show by switching to an anchor slot on [...]

  • Meredith Vieira Back in Syndication Game

    Meredith Vieira Back in Syndication Game With '25 Words or Less'

    MIAMI — Meredith Vieira is stocking up on stationary. The former “Today” anchor and panelist on “The View” is set to return to daytime TV in the fall as host of the syndicated game show “25 Words or Less,” from Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television. Vieira is a 15-time Emmy winner who has worked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content