UPDATE, 12:59 PM: Looks like the new Doctor is very popular in the USA. The Season 8 debut of Doctor Who on BBC America pulled in a record 2.2M viewers on August 23. Also, the Saturday’s 8:15 PM debut of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor in the long-running Time Lord series drew slightly more than 1 million adults 25-54. That’s a big jump from the 1.56M total viewers and 723,000 in the demo who watched the Season 7 premiere back in September 2012 — a record at the time. When added together with the 796,000 total viewers and 352,000 among the 25-54s with the 10 PM series debut of Intruders, August 23 was the channel’s highest-rated Saturday night ever. That’s very Rule Britannia.
PREVIOUS, AUGUST 24 AM: A little more than a year after he was cast as the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi debuted as the Time Lord on Saturday night in the series’ Season 8 premiere. (He was glimpsed in the closing seconds of November’s 50th anniversary special, this was Capaldi’s s first full-episode effort.) The 80-minute premiere, entitled “Deep Breath,” aired on BBC One from 7:50 PM UK time. The launch was seen by 6.79M viewers according to the overnights. That was worth a 32.5 share. Capaldi’s start lands as the series’ most-watched opener since 2010. The record opener of the modern Doctor Who series was 2005’s debut that starred Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor and drew 9.9M viewers. On the low end of the scale is 2012 with 6.4M. Capaldi’s turn as the 12th incarnation of the character has been well-received by critics in Britain who’ve called his performance “wise and thoughtful” and an “impeccable debut.” “Deep Breath” sees the Doctor arrive in Victorian London, where he finds a dinosaur rampant in the Thames and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions. He’s joined by companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) on a terrifying mission into the heart of an alien conspiracy. Surprises abound. We’ll be back later with ratings for the BBC America premiere, which aired at 8 PM ET last night.