So this’ll be an interesting couple of weeks for Doctor Who; it turns out that due to the delay of the start of the new series the good Doctor will be going toe to toe with The X Factor for Saturday night ratings.
Doctor Who has always held its own in the ratings war for the BBC and has always come up trumps in terms of viewing figures when it has its usual start date of March or April but due to its September release, we’re going to see Matt Smith and Steven Moffat take on Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow. The results will be interesting to say the least.
While this week’s first episode of Series 7 doesn’t overlap with the “talent” search show, episode two, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, will have a 10 minute overlap, starting at 7.30pm in a 50 minute time slot, while The X Factor starts at 8.10pm on Saturday, 8th September.
There’s no need to panic; Doctor Who is a valued brand at the BBC and they’ve obviously scheduled it to run alongside the reality show for a very god reason, namely to show that Doctor Who can succeed in any circumstance. A minor overlap with a series on the wane and long before the “prestigious” live shows, however, shouldn’t cause a problem for the good Doctor.
Indeed, the adventures of the Doctor have proved so popular over the years that it seems ridiculous to worry about ratings anymore, BBC iPlayer and various catch up services have shown that television shows that have initially smaller ratings on first viewing are usually bulked up considerably by later viewings. The good Doctor usually gets an extra million or so people tuning in to catch his adventures on a Sunday rather than the Saturday night.
The X Factor may grab a few extra viewers over the next few weeks on transmission night but it’ll be Doctor Who that’s left standing in the long, long future.