Matt Smith’s replacement as the Tardis travelling Time Lord will be announced on August 4 in a live Doctor Who special on BBC America, the broadcaster said today. Hosted by Zoe Ball, the half hour Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor will air at 11 AM PT and will be shown on BBC One in the UK simultaneously. The BBC says the actor taking over the role of the Twelfth Doctor Who will be interviewed on the show as will Smith, the show’s EP Steven Moffat, past Doctors and other guests. It was announced in early June that Smith would be leaving the role of the Eleventh Doctor after nearly four years. He is shooting his final episode now, and will depart later this year. The news comes as the series preps a 50th anniversary special set for November 23. The new Doctor will make his or her debut in the annual Christmas Special.
‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Lines Up Daleks & Zygons
The 50th anniversary Doctor Who special has booked a new monster. Time Lords Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt will do battle in the special with the deadly Daleks, the BBC said today. The shape shifting Zygons were previously announced as set for an appearance. The special airs November 23 and also stars Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and Joanna Page. The Daleks first appeared in 1963. Exec producer Steven Moffat said, “The Doctor once said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, so it’s fitting that for this very special episode, he should facing the greatest enemies of all.”
Television takes the spotlight on Day 4 of Comic-Con 2013. Highlights of the just-unveiled Sunday schedule include panel presentations and sneak peeks at The CW‘s Supernatural, NBC‘s Community, Under The Dome, FX‘s Sons Of Anarchy, and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Vince Gilligan and stars will be on hand to fete AMC‘s Breaking Bad as it heads into its final eight episodes. And Matt Smith, whose departure from BBC‘s Doctor Who was announced last month, will be on hand for the show’s panel. Here’s the full Sunday line-up:
The BBC is today announcing that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four incredible years on the hit show. Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas special. During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role. Doctor Who is BBC AMERICA’s highest-rated series and premieres as part of the channel’s Supernatural Saturday programming block.
Related: BBC Confirms ‘Doctor Who’ Season 8
Matt quickly won over fans to be voted Best Actor by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine for the 2010 season. He also received a nod for his first series at the National Television Awards, before winning the Most Popular Male Drama Performance award in 2012.Matt has played one of the biggest roles in TV with over 77 million fans in the UK, US and Australia alone!
Related: BBC Says ‘Doctor Who’ Isn’t Racist
Matt Smith says: “Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realize all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BFI; ‘Doctor Who’; Yahoo & Dailymotion; Ukraine Piracy; Cineworld-Picturehouse; Televix; Universal & Canada’s D Films
BFI Lays Out Development Funding Recipients
The British Film Institute has identified 20 UK production companies that will receive BFI Vision Awards 2013-15. The grants will provide up to £200K over two years to the companies for investment in slate development. The BFI said the successful companies each demonstrated “a clear strategic vision for their future growth as well as a commitment to nurturing a diverse range of new voices and fresh ideas from across the UK.” There were 170 applicants overall. The project is part of the BFI’s Film Forever plan to foster growth in the UK film biz and keep momentum going after a strong series of local films. Among the companies receiving £100K are 42 M&P (Welcome To The Punch), Cowboy Films (The Last King Of Scotland), Independent (We Need To Talk About Kevin); Warp Films (Submarine) and Wildgaze Films (Quartet). Among those receiving £50K are Inflammable Films (Tyrannosaur), JW Films (Attack The Block), Rook Films (Sightseers) and animation companies Blue-Zoo, Flickerpix. The full list is here.
‘Doctor Who’ Gets New Exec Producer; Opens Pop-Up Shop
Brian Minchin is joining Doctor Who as its new executive producer alongside showrunner Steven Moffat. Minchin is an exec producer in BBC Wales drama, currently working on The Game, a new Cold War spy thriller for BBC One. He had previously been a script editor on both Doctor Who and Torchwood. Separately, the BBC says the first ever Doctor Who pop-up store will open its doors in Sydney, Australia this fall. It will feature exclusive merchandise including the Doctor Who home range, apparel, toys, DVDs, books and replica props.
The fact that Sherlock is back in production and filming around the UK has drummed up a fan frenzy. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman recently shot in Bristol and Cheltenham with photos popping up across the Internet, leading to potential spoilers. Now, as the show heads to London, producer Sue Vertue has sent a plea to Sherlock lovers to let the team get on with its “punishing” schedule and ask that people avoid posting spoilers or daily locations. On the other hand, Sherlock network the BBC yesterday released official videos of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special shooting in Trafalgar Square. I hear the reasoning for getting in front of Doctor Who was because the shoot was “bang in the center of London” so already very public. But even a well-placed BBC insider says the Sherlock locations are something of a mystery. Click over for Vertue’s note:
Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations have added David Tennant who will reprise his role as the tenth Doctor for the first time since 2010. Billie Piper and John Hurt are also coming on board. They will join current …
The long-running British sci-fi series is back next week with the episode “The Bells Of Saint John”, penned by Steven Moffat and broadcast on BBC One, BBC America, and Canada’s Space on March 30. Matt Smith stars in Doctor Who as the Eleventh Doctor with Jenna-Louise Coleman as …
News Corp. has been raising the profile of deputy COO James Murdoch of late with the exec making two appearances before investors last month. Is News Corp. also looking to rebuild his coterie of board seats? Germany’s Sky Deutschland plans to appoint Murdoch as a member of its supervisory board, according to Reuters. The pay-TV group, a source told the news agency, expects to benefit from Murdoch’s international market and new technology savvy. Amid the phone-hakcing and bribery scandals at News Corp.’s UK press division last year, Murdoch left chairmanships at News International and at pay-TV group BSkyB, which News Corp. controls via its 39% stake. He also ankled the boards of Sotheby’s, GlaxoSmithKline and News Corp.’s UK print operations. But, he retained his board seat at BSkyB. News Corp. owns 54.8% of Sky Deutschland and if Murdoch does join the company board, he would be surrounded by News Corp. execs. COO Chase Carey, 20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner, News International CEO Thomas Mockridge and Europe & Asia COO Jan Koeppen are all members.
Shine America’s Rich Ross to Keynote at Australian Conference
Rich Ross, recently installed CEO of Shine America, will give the keynote address at the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association conference March 14 in Sydney. Also due to speak are Barney Francis of the UK’s Sky Sports, Discovery Networks Intl. CEO Mark Hollinger, Foxtel Richard Freudenstein, and Viacom Media EVP Colleen Fahey Rush. – Don Groves
Benjamin Millepied To Run Paris Opera Ballet
Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied has been named the new director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. He will take up his post at the historic Palais Garnier in Paris’ 9th arrondissement beginning September 2014. Millepied, who also danced in Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar-nominated Black Swan and met his wife Natalie Portman on the film, has spent most of his career in the U.S. and founded the L.A. Dance Project last year. He told The New York Times he would continue to work with the experimental group until he and Portman move to Paris. A notoriously intense ballet company, Palais Garnier’s troupe was the focus of a 2001 documentary, Etoiles: Dancers Of The Paris Opera Ballet, directed by Nils Tavernier.