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Last Updated: Monday, 19 July, 2004, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
BBC America 'reaching 40m homes'
Ricky Gervais with his Bafta awards
The Office has been a big hit for BBC America
BBC America, the BBC's commercial US digital channel, has announced it is now available in 40 million homes for the first time.

The network can be seen in 37% of all US homes with TV, according to figures from media monitoring company Nielsen.

BBC America, launched in March 1998, airs a combination of drama, comedy, lifestyle, entertainment and news.

It has won several awards including two Golden Globes for Ricky Gervais' Bafta-winning sitcom The Office.

Other shows on the channel include Little Britain, Coupling, Murphy's Law, Messiah, The Vice and My Family. The Emmy-winning chat show spoof The Kumars at No 42 is due to air later this year.

Operating 24 hours a day, it is available on digital cable and satellite TV.

Jo Petherbridge, the channel's acting chief operating officer, described the success it as "a huge milestone for the network and a significant moment for British television in the American market".

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