Doctor Who New Year’s Special Down 30% In BBC America Ratings


Doctor Who returned to our screens on New Year’s Day in an exciting adventure with the Daleks titled “Resolution.” Moving the show’s annual winter special from its traditional Christmas Day slot to January 1st was seen as a risky move, so all eyes have been on the viewing figures for the episode to see if the schedule shift paid off. And looking at BBC America’s numbers, we’re not sure that it did.

Compared with 2017’s winter special, Peter Capaldi’s swansong “Twice Upon a Time,” “Resolution” fell by 29% in the key demographic of 18-49 year olds. In total, it averaged 1.4 million viewers, with 552,000 coming from the 18-49 range and 666,000 from those aged 25 to 54 – according to “Live + Day” data from Nielsen.

It seems the Thirteenth Doctor’s first battle with her greatest nemesis was less of a draw than the final bow of the Twelfth Doctor then, who also encountered his first incarnation in the episode. Speaking of which, “Twice” earned a more impressive 1.7 million total viewers back in December 2017, with 778,000 from the key demo and 864,000 coming from the 25-54 group.

A similar story formed across the pond as well. “Resolution” was watched by 5.15 million in the overnight ratings, earning it the dubious honor of being the least-viewed Doctor Who winter special since the tradition began back in 2005. This follows on from a general downward trajectory in season 11’s ratings as a whole.

That’s not to say that things have been all doom and gloom in terms of ratings for the Jodie Whittaker era, though. Far from it, in fact. Season 11 averaged 1.6. million viewers on BBC America, for example, which is up 20% on season 10’s 1.3 million average figure. Over in the UK, meanwhile, Whittaker’s premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell To Earth” snapped up 10.96 million viewers overall, making it the most-watched debut for a Doctor in the 50 plus year history of the show.

The next big test is whether the public’s enthusiasm for the Thirteenth Doctor can last over into next year, with season 12 of Doctor Who not due until “very early 2020.”  Hopefully, the long wait won’t impact the viewing numbers, but we have a feeling that it may. At least, somewhat.