The Doctor Who series premiere The Magician’s Apprentice set a new television ratings record for the show in the United States. The BBC America broadcast reached two million viewers, attracting 1.1 million in the key 18-49 adult demographic. The latest figure is twice the average series eight level of viewing in America.
Sarah Barnett, President of BBC America, said: ‘Doctor Who is unlike anything else on television, a storied franchise that is as fresh and contemporary as ever, with brilliant writing and superb performances. We couldn’t be more thrilled that new and returning Doctor Who fans tuned into the live premiere in record numbers and we look forward to bringing more of the Doctor to this passionate audience.’
The biggest increase in viewing came among younger viewers, with the 12-24 age group up 186% and the 18-34 age group increasing by 161%. The show was also ranked the #1 ‘TV brand’ across social media coverage, beating ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead into second place.
In the UK, initial overnight ratings for The Magician’s Apprentice were seen as disappointing. Although the highest rated BBC show of the day on 19 September, only 4.58 million tuned in live to watch the episode, a dramatic drop of 2.2 million from Deep Breath’s 6.8 million. Time-shifted viewing is expected to add around two million additional viewers to the overnight figure. However, the low overnight figure provoke a rash of ‘viewers desert Doctor Who’ headlines, failing to take into account the changing nature of television viewing in the internet ‘catch up’ age.