June 1, 2009

BBC America plans high-def Sci-Fi Week

BBC Worldwide Monday announced plans to start airing BBC America in high definition with several U.S. premieres of its popular science-fiction programs.

The Sci-Fi Week slate is to begin July 20 and to include the miniseries Torchwood: Children of Earth, the latest Doctor Who special, Planet of the Dead, and the third season finale of Primeval.

Since its inception in 1998, BBC America has seen substantial growth, recently celebrating its highest ratings ever in total live viewers for the first quarter of 2009, the network said in a news release.

The channel is responsible for bringing the BBC's world renowned news stateside with BBC World News America, as well as some of the year's most buzzed about and critically acclaimed U.K. shows -- from the popular 'Torchwood' and addictive 'Mistresses' to the provocative 'Skins' and charming 'Gavin & Stacey,' the company added. It has introduced American audiences to such marquee series as 'The Office,' 'Top Gear' and 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.' This unique and high quality programming has aided BBC America to see an increase in ad sales of almost 40 percent in the last year. It has also secured the channel two Golden Globes, six Peabody Awards and availability in over 64 million households nationwide.