Doctor Who: BBC Boss Responds to Ratings Crisis

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Doctor Who may be down, but it is not out. 

The iconic series has experienced a steep decline in the ratings both in the UK and the U.S. this season. 

Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 1 scared up 4.9 million total viewers in the UK -- down 40 percent from Jodie Whittaker's debut as the timelord. 

Too Much Damage - Doctor Who

The ratings continued to dive from there with 3.7 million tuning into Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 9 -- the penultimate episode of the season. 

It is a similar case Stateside. Doctor Who Season 12 is currently averaging 536,000 total viewers -- off as much as 40 percent season-to-season. 

Close Up With the Sonic - Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 11

In adults 18-49, the series is down almost 53 percent on BBC America. 

While the ratings are soft, fans have been loving the twists and turns that have been thrown their way throughout. 

Additionally, it's possible that less people are watching live because they don't see at as appointment TV anymore, but they could be watching through other means. 

For example, the season premiere built to 6.9 million viewers in consolidated viewing. 

Close Up on Yaz - Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 6

Naturally, many have worried about the long-term prospects of the series, but BBC drama controller Piers Wenger has voiced his support for the series. 

“I worked on Doctor Who myself and produced it for many years and I can honestly say I don’t think it’s been in better health editorially,” said Wagnger at an event, per Deadline.

“The production values have never been better.

“It’s an incredibly important show for young audiences, it’s still watched by families in a world where there are fewer shows that have the power to do that,” he added.

“It will always be an important show for us and we’re a very long way from wanting to rest it.”

Vertical Doctor Scan - Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 6

Given that the series is a cultural phenomenon, it is unlikely it would be canceled without a pre-planned conclusion in mind. 

But it may well be the case that people are watching the series via other means. 

What do you think of the news? Do you think the show is in good shape?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Doctor Who online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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