Disney Plus To Stream New Episodes of 'Doctor Who' Outside U.K. and Ireland

Doctor Who
‘Doctor Who’ wrapped up its run on BBC America with the departure of Jodie Whitaker. (Image credit: BBC America)

The Walt Disney Co. and BBC announced a deal that will make Disney Plus the new home for upcoming seasons of the long-running series Doctor Who outside the U.K. and Ireland.

The BBC continues to be the exclusive home of Doctor Who in the U.K.

With the series about to mark its 60th anniversary next year, the companies said David Tennant, the actor who portrayed the 10th Doctor from 2005 to 2010, would play the 14th Doctor in three specials starting in November 2023. He will be followed by Ncuti Gatwa, who will become the 15th Doctor.

In a bit of corporate synergy, the new arrangement and casting was disclosed on Disney's Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Russell T. Davies will be the showrunner in 2023. The companies said he was responsible for reviving Doctor Who in 2005, propelling it into legendary status. The new episodes will be produced in Wales by Bad Wolf with BBC Studios.

In the U.S., Doctor Who had been running on AMC Networks' BBC America channel. BBC America said goodbye to the series in a tweet.

Past seasons of Doctor Who have been streaming on AMC Plus and HBO Max.  

A BBC spokesperson said existing partnerships will conclude over time. 

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Financial terms of Disney's deal with the BBC were not disclosed.

"We are thrilled to announce this exciting global partnership with Disney who are the perfect partners to bring this very British show to the rest of the world," said Charlotte Moore, BBC's chief content officer. "Russell T. Davies' vision for Doctor Who has always been out of this world and we are committed to ensuring that audiences across the globe get the opportunity to enjoy the Doctor's epic adventures with the scale and ambition that they deserve. Joining forces with Disney will elevate the show to even greater heights and reach new audiences so it's an extremely exciting time for fans in the U.K. and across the world."

"We're excited by the opportunity to bring new seasons of this beloved franchise exclusively to Disney Plus and introduce the show to the next generation of audiences in more than 150 markets around the world," Disney Plus President Alisa Bowen added. "The series is a perfect addition to our ever-growing catalog of global content that continues to make Disney Plus the home for exceptional storytelling." ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.