Fans who were hoping BBC America would keep the US air dates for the new fifth season of Doctor Who within a day or so of their original UK airing are going to be disappointed. The network announced that the new season kicks off on BBC America Saturday, April 17, 2010. That puts it two weeks behind the UK date we reported earlier this week.

It's certainly an interesting decision, considering that the final David Tennant episodes aired almost immediately in the US, following their UK premieres. I guess the network isn't quite as concerned that fans will be so eager to see Matt Smith take on the iconic role that they'll turn to illegal means to get their eyes on it. Personally, I think they're at least a little wrong about that; at least as far as the tech savvy fans are concerned.

And for every day those geeks have to wait, more of them will torrent the episodes, which means fewer of them will bother to catch it when it finally does air on BBC America. Maybe it's more complicated to get the series over here than it was the specials; thus the extra delay. Regardless, I'd still imagine this 13-episode run will continue Doctor Who's rating dominance for the network.

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