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3 WKS

TV Ratings: 'Doctor Who' U.S. Return Delivers Premiere Best to BBC America

The Time Lord improves with stateside audiences, though it's still a fraction of U.K. ratings

Doctor Who Season 8 Trailer Screenshot - H 2014
'Doctor Who'

The Doctor saw 2.2 million American viewers on Saturday night, with Doctor Who returning to BBC America with its best U.S. premiere numbers to date.

That number, while lofty, fell shy of the record-setting 50th anniversary special (2.4 million viewers) in 2013. It was, however, up 46 percent from the comparable premiere last summer. Across plays and with same-day views taken into account, the series took 2.6 million viewers for the night.

Interest in the series was no doubt driven by the addition of Peter Capaldi as the latest actor to occupy the titular role — which has seen over a dozen men play the part in the five decades since the series' original U.K. premiere. On native broadcaster BBC, Doctor Who averaged 6.8 million viewers on the same night.

In the demographic of adults 25-54, Doctor Who nabbed just over 1 million viewers.

BBC America used the return to launch new original Intruders. That boded well enough, with 796,000 tuning into the premiere of the sci-fi companion.

With 1 million viewers overall, replays included, Intruders helped give BBC America its biggest Saturday evening on record.