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TORONTO (April 1, 2013) – The series premiere of what the Hollywood Reporter calls “one of the most intriguingly entertaining new series of the year” lived up to its hype Saturday night. Space’s new Original Series ORPHAN BLACK debuted to a record-breaking 404,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated Original Series premiere in the channel’s 15-year history. Overall, Space was the #1 specialty network of the day Saturday, with the return of DOCTOR WHO at 8 p.m. averaging a rousing 654,000 viewers, powering ORPHAN BLACK’s mind-blowing audience at 9 p.m.
In all, almost 900,000 viewers watched some or all of ORPHAN BLACK’s first episode, which launched a complex urban mystery after lead character Sarah comes face-to-face with a stranger who looks just like her. The premiere episode, “Natural Selection,” was also the most-watched specialty program during its timeslot.
Earlier on DOCTOR WHO, the official debut of Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) as the Doctor’s mysterious “twice dead” new companion was watched by nearly one million Canadians, as fans turned out in droves for the 7B premiere of Space’s #1 series. “The Bells of Saint John” episode was the most-watched specialty program of the day overall and in the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos.
In anticipation of both premieres, Space.ca received a record number of visitors on Saturday, racking up the highest single day visits in the site’s history.* Both thrilling episodes of DOCTOR WHO and ORPHAN BLACK are currently available online at Space.ca.
**Media Note** - Photography for DOCTOR WHO and ORPHAN BLACK is available online at BellMediaPR.ca/Space
Generating buzz from critics and fans alike, here’s what people had to say about ORPHAN BLACK’s premiere episode:
- “It’s addictive and compelling -- you want the next episode mere seconds after the previous one has ended, which is always a fantastic sign. But even beyond that, there’s little doubt that ORPHAN BLACK is more than just a thrill ride or some guilty pleasure. It is, flat out, one of the most intriguingly entertaining new series of the year, and it’s so much more than pure entertainment. For a sci-fi series, there’s some real heft to it.” – Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter
- “...ORPHAN BLACK is anchored by a magnetic lead performance: Regina-born Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah, a street hustler and orphan who gets pulled down a rabbit hole filled with look-alikes, double identities and dangerous conspiracies. Strong writing and a stellar supporting cast add to Orphan Black’s appeal. This is one orphan to adopt into your TV schedule.” - Chris Lackner, Postmedia
- “It's so much more than simple sci-fi. It's mystery, it's action, it's drama and it's as sexy as hell.” - Chris Jancelewicz, Huffington Post
- “ …as each new breadcrumb is revealed, the show proves to be increasingly addictive. Accordingly, make a date with ORPHAN BLACK for its premiere on Saturday, March 30th.” – Tiffany Vogt, The TV Addict
- ohthathayley – The Orphan Black pilot episode was all sorts of good, looking forward to seeing where this series goes. #orphanblack #space
- okame333 – Just watched Doctor Who & Orphan Black on Space. Good new season opener, followed by GREAT new show! I am definitely a fan of both now!
- ShawnMoscato25 – Orphan Black's First episode rocked! @SpaceChannel
- mattywatts – Between ORPHAN BLACK and DOCTOR WHO, Tatiana Maslany and Jenna-Louise Coleman are going to own Saturday night in North America.
- LindseyMcaruso – One thing to say: ORPHAN BLACK Favorite show in the world! Loved it!!! #OrphanBlack
- SarahShelson – So I enjoyed the premiere of Orphan Black. That ending was killer! :D
In next week’s episode of DOCTOR WHO, “The Rings of Akhaten,” premiering at Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET, Clara wants to see something awesome, so the Doctor (Matt Smith) whisks her off to the inhabited rings of the planet Akhaten, where the Festival of Offerings is in full swing. Clara meets the young Queen of Years as the pilgrims and natives ready for the ceremony. But something is stirring in the pyramid, and a sacrifice will be demanded.
That same night, ORPHAN BLACK returns at 9 p.m. ET with the premiere of “Instinct.” With a body in her car and nowhere to turn, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, Picture Day) is forced to continue her con and earn “Beth” (Maslany) a second chance on the force. But with a killer on her tail, her only hope of finding answers lies with another twin, Alison (Maslany).
Space is home to phenomenal programming including imaginative dramas, epic movies, engaging reality series, and the daily entertainment talk show INNERSPACE, the source for all-things genre – all in high definition (HD). Also home to upcoming original programs ORPHAN BLACK, PANIC BUTTON, and BITTEN, Space content is always available at Space.ca, and on Facebook, @SpaceChannel, and other social media platforms. Space is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.
- Space -
Source: BBM Canada
* Since beginning of Omniture data recording in 2008.
For more information, please contact:
Andrea Allen, Space (DOCTOR WHO), 416.384.5375 or email@example.com
Natalie Cole, Space (ORPHAN BLACK), 416.384.2140 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Christy Sullivan, Space, 416.384.3624 or email@example.com