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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 26, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Breaks Television Ratings

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

Fans of the popular British science fiction show Doctor Who helped make the already-iconic series break records with its 50th anniversary special, which aired November 23rd.

During a global simulcast, both in theaters and TVs around the world, “The Day of the Doctor” included 2.4 million viewers on BBC America with an increased 3.6 million during the encore screening later in the day.

How the show reached such massive records is all due thanks to the Internet.

According to the BBC, the special set a record as the most popular TV event in the history of Tumblr, with over 14 million views on the Doctor Who Tumblr page. The episode also generated the most activity in the history of Get Glue and 1.83 million tweets.

What’s more, BBC America, along with Nerdist Industries, hosted a pre-and post show discussion hosted from YouTube (News - Alert) Space LA.

Who fans, known as Whovians, shared their experiences on social media through Vine videos and tweets, some of which were shared with audiences around the globe.

“Doctor Who” has been airing on BBC America since 2008, and drew its largest audience for the show’s seventh-season premiere in September 2012. That episode drew 1.55 million viewers in Nielsen’s Live+same-day estimates, which swelled to 2.47 million with seven days of DVR playback.

Given its 50 year legacy, the television show has proven time and again its ability to stay current through the times, garnering more fans from more generations than most other series.

"Doctor Who" also earned the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama. The show was broadcast in 94 countries across 6 continents. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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