Garth Ancier, president of BBC America, announced Wednesday that BBC America will air unedited versions of Doctor Who and other series. The shows will still have commercials: They'll just exceed an hour all told. However, this is only during the premiere airing.
Ancier said in a press conference at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, CA:
"In order to keep the storylines intact on most of these shows now, on the premiere airing we don't do any cutting at all. We just take the entire show, and we run over off the clock. That's what we've been doing, and that's what we're going to do for Doctor Who going forward. The audience seems to be following it, and that way we're not screwing up someone's vision, what they're trying to do, or screwing up story points."
Exiting Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies is happy about this decision and said that Tennant's last episode as The Doctor will push things even further.
"Actually, our very last episode, coming at Christmas, David's very last episode, is one hour and 15 minutes long,"
That means that "The End of Time" will get a 90 minute block of time (possibly 2 hrs)
Expect BBC America airings to debut closer to BBC U.K. airings, too. Contractually, BBC America has to run after the U.K., but with schedules locked in in advance, they are able to schedule close enough to get the Christmas special around Christmas or New Year's Day.