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While Americans await the premiere of BBC's Doctor Who spinoff Class, rumors are already declaring the series could be dead in the water. Recently, a rumor has been going around proclaiming an inside source has said the BBC has already written off the series as a failure. It seems shocking, and yes, a bit unbelievable, but this is the report that is running around. Could it be true that Class is doing so poorly with viewers that BBC is already making moves to cancel it before it debuts outside of the UK?
If you are to believe the rumors circulating around the web, then yes. The Mirror is citing an anonymous insider from BBC who says the network has not been happy with the viewership of the show's first run on the network. The series premiered on BBC iPlayer in October and not one of its eight episodes has found its way into the top 50 viewed programs--not even with The Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, appearing in the premiere. In fact, Capaldi's episode has only netted about 660,000 viewers on the service to date. Rerun airings on BBC1 did fare better for the premiere with about 1,000,000 viewers tuning in, but by the series' end, that number was closer to about 300,000. Compare that to the 800,000 viewer average for that BBC1 time slot and you can see the problem.
The rumor, if true, could mean bad news for the cast of Class, but don't get too worried yet. These are just rumors at this point. It's unlikely that the BBC has written off the series considering the show still has yet to air in the United States. If a series isn't performing well before it airs in another major market, discussing its cancellation prior to airing would not be the way to pull in more viewers! So far, this rumor feels more speculative than not.
A quick cancellation of a Doctor Who spin-off like Class is not a common thing, but there is a precedent. Classic Doctor Who fans will remember the one off K-9 And Company, which yielded large numbers in its pilot episode, but never got a full series order. Other spin-offs of Doctor Who, such as The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood, also didn't experience the longevity that Doctor Who has, but both managed to survive at least 40 episodes before leaving the airwaves. If the rumor is true that BBC is eyeing the cancellation of Class, it would be the franchise's second quickest cancellation in its history.
The BBC's official statement towards the rumor is that they have not decided the fate of Class, and the series is still set to air April 15th following the premiere of Series 10 of Doctor Who. The series is headlined by actress Katherine Kelly, who plays the teacher of a diverse cast of students attending Coal Hill School in the same world as Doctor Who. Canceled or not, you'll be hearing our thoughts on the series when the time comes. Until then, hop on over to our midseason premiere guide and line up your new shows to watch until its premiere.