After (in our opinion) a too long delay, BBC America is ready to launch its HD simulcast July 20, getting things kicked off with a load of science fiction programming for the summer. Torchwood: Children of Earth is scheduled as the first HD offering, with five consecutive nights of the new season to get things going before the season finale of Primeval shows its stuff in high definition along with the U.S. premiere of Being Human. That's all just a tease until the Sunday, July 26 U.S. premiere of Dr. Who: Planet of the Dead. Of course, in this day and age more than a few may have turned to the internet to catch quality UK television long before the programmes air here, but until iPlayer HD comes across the pond everyone else can look forward to getting their BBC re-airs in the quality they were intended - here's hoping for Top Gear HD next.Full press release and details are after the break.

BBC AMERICA HD LAUNCHES JULY 20 WITH A SPECIAL SCI-FI WEEK

- U.S. Premieres of Torchwood: Children of Earth, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead and Being Human to Air in HD -

New York, NY - Monday, June 1, 2009 - BBC Worldwide launches BBC AMERICA HD on July 20 with the high-definition simulcast of BBC AMERICA. BBC AMERICA HD kicks off with an extraordinary week of sci-fi U.S. premieres - the return of the channel's highest rated series, Torchwood, the latest Doctor Who special, Planet of the Dead, the BBC AMERICA co-production, Being Human and the thrilling season finale of Primeval, Season 3.

Since its inception in 1998, BBC AMERICA has seen substantial growth, recently celebrating its highest ratings ever in total live viewers for the first quarter of 2009. The channel is responsible for bringing the BBC's world renowned news stateside with BBC World News America as well as some of the year's most buzzed about and critically acclaimed UK shows - from the popular Torchwood and addictive Mistresses to the provocative Skins and charming Gavin & Stacey. It has introduced American audiences to such marquee series as The Office, Top Gear and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. This unique and high quality programming has aided BBC AMERICA to see an increase in ad sales of almost 40% in the last year. It has also secured the channel two Golden Globes, six Peabody Awards and availability in over 64 million households nationwide.

Garth Ancier, President, BBC Worldwide America says, "BBC AMERICA is a truly unique channel in the cable landscape. We bring viewers some of the best programs on television and now with the option to experience them in HD, they're going to be even better. The launch of BBC AMERICA HD coupled with the existing VOD channel, BBC AMERICA On-Demand, expands the opportunity for viewers and distributors to access the best of British entertainment."

The highly anticipated return of Torchwood: Children of Earth will kick off the first of BBC AMERICA's HD offerings. Told over five consecutive nights starting July 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, the series re-joins Captain Jack (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) as they are still coming to terms with the death of two of their closest friends. Yet despite their pain, they know they have a job to do. This time they are faced with their fiercest threat to date - one which throws the future of Torchwood and the entire human race spiralling into danger. Battling against the odds, do they stand a chance of saving mankind?

Also airing in HD on Sunday, July 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT is the U.S premiere of the first of the last four Doctor Who specials featuring David Tennant as the tenth Time Lord. In the latest special, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, the Doctor (David Tennant) must join forces with the mysterious Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan), when a London bus takes a detour to an alien world. But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets, hidden in the sand. And time is running out, as the deadly Swarm gets closer.

On Saturday July 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, the monster hit, Primeval concludes its third season in high-definition style. As the embattled team continues to fight against unrelenting threats and creatures, Helen (Juliet Aubry) is attempting to stop the destruction of the Earth by traveling back in time to prevent humans from evolving. The team is determined to go back to the future and stop her before she can hurt anyone else but is forced to split up when a fracture in time causes another destructive creature to appear.

The lauded BBC AMERICA co-production, Being Human premieres in HD on Saturday July 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. A witty and intriguing look into the lives of three twenty-somethings and their secret double-lives – as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost - the trio do their best to live their lives as normally as possible, despite their strange and dark secrets. But with unwelcome intruders into their world, a threatened revolution from the vampire underworld and constant threats of exposure – on top of the day-to-day issues faced by young people – the only thing they may be able to rely on in their heightened world, is each other.

ASUS Mars GPU hands-on at Computex