Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary broke ratings records by enlisting the internet

I just happened to be home for Thanksgiving ; it was the only thing on Comcast (includes BBC America) worth watching.

Gigaom

For fans of a madman in a blue box, last Saturday was pretty epic. Doctor Who, perhaps the iconic British science fiction series of the last century, celebrated its 50th birthday with a special anniversary episode that was shown simultaneously around the world on TV and in movie theaters.

Add a live simulcast pre-and post-show event that unfolded online and on TV, as well as a massive social media campaign, and you got record-breaking television ratings around the world, including 2.4 million viewers on BBC America (which increased to 3.6 million following an encore screening later in the day).

All of that didn’t happen just by virtue of the show’s history — it was a clever combination of multiple platforms to create a truly global event. Here’s how it was done:

The actual premiere

The aniversary episode, titled “The Day of the Doctor,” featured current series star Matt Smith…

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