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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 21:06 GMT
American opening for Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper
Christopher Eccleston brought the time traveller back to our screens
The revamped adventures of BBC Wales' Doctor Who are to be seen by sci-fi fans in America, it has been announced.

The first series of the cult programme starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper is to be screened by the American Sci Fi Channel.

The screening deal was confirmed by the US channel and BBC Worldwide Americas on Thursday.

Welcoming the deal, Sci FI Channel's Thomas P Vitale said Doctor Who was a "true sci-fi classic".

The Sci Fi Channel has been granted the first-run rights for the series of Doctor Who written and executive produced by Russell T Davies.

The series attracted huge ratings and received critical acclaim when it was screened in the UK last spring.

The channel also has an option on the second series, in which David Tennant takes over the time travelling adventurer's title role from Eccleston.

Sci Fi Channel is the perfect home for the show and will introduce Doctor Who to a whole new generation of fans in the US
Candace Carlisle, BBC Worldwide Americas

Tennant made his debut in the Doctor Who Christmas special - one of the big-hitting programmes of Christmas Day.

The award-winning Eccleston series will premiere on the Sci Fi Channel in March.

Mr Vitale said: "With its rich history of imaginative storytelling, Doctor Who is a true sci-fi classic. We're excited to add the show to our line up."

Candace Carlisle, from BBC Worldwide Americas, said: "The new production has fantastic storylines and production values and has already gained an iconic status around the world.

"Sci Fi Channel is the perfect home for the show and will introduce Doctor Who to a whole new generation of fans in the US."

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