Doctor Who was the most downloaded TV programme on iTunes in the United States during 2011.
The ever-popular BBC sci-fi show's sixth series saw off competition from the likes of Dexter and Modern Family to become the download service’s biggest seller of last year.
Series six’s opening episode The Impossible Astronaut was shot in the States, and the decision of programme makers to feature American locations like Utah and the White House’s Oval Office during the season may have gone some way towards persuading American viewers to embrace the show so wholeheartedly.
Steven Moffat, Doctor Who’s executive producer, said: "This is incredibly exciting news. It's an honour to be on the same list as all those shows, let alone at the very top. And for a British show to have achieved this in the US is absolutely remarkable. Next, the universe!"
Another BBC series, Top Gear, appeared at number six on iTunes’s most popular TV downloads list, which is reproduced below:
1. Doctor Who
2. Modern Family
4. Breaking Bad
5. True Blood
6. Top Gear
10. The Walking Dead
BBC bosses are also pleased that another Steven Moffat series, Sherlock, is performing well in America, the returning drama's first two episodes having both gone to number one on the American iTunes charts in recent weeks.
Matt Forde, executive vice president of sales and co-productions at BBC Worldwide Americas, said: "Coming off the success of BBC America's Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Season being the #1 downloaded series on iTunes in 2011, it is incredible that Masterpiece's Sherlock: Season 2 hit #1 on iTunes the week it premiered and stays on top today,
"Steven Moffat has been turning heads in the US and continues to create amazing television that keeps us all on the edge of our seat."