2012 will suffer a Who drought, but the BBC says that 2013 is going to be something special.
The BBC has revealed that new Doctor Who will be in short supply in 2012, as it only plans to show six or seven episodes. While this is a normal run for a lot of shows produced by the BBC, it's significantly less Who than audiences are used to.
This news comes via Danny Cohen, the controller of the BBC's flagship channel, BBC One. The new season will have the same split scheduling as the current season, but instead of starting in the spring, it will start in the fall. There will also be a Christmas special between the two halves, rather than its usual position at the end of the season. All the episodes will feature Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, whose return was confirmed on Twitter by show runner Steven Moffat.
Cohen also said that 2013 would see a "special run" of the show to celebrate its 50th anniversary. It's not clear however, whether he's referring to the second half of the 2012-2013 season, or something else entirely. Given the time-travelling nature of the show, it's not impossible that we might see some faces from previous seasons, and perhaps even some previous Doctors, as happened in the 1983 episode "The Five Doctors."
As for why the BBC is moving the show around in the schedule, well, that's difficult to say. It's not quite the same sitation as David Tennant's last season as the Doctor, where the BBC made just four special episodes to accommodate Tennant's commitments to an RSC production of Hamlet; The BBC isn't making fewer episodes, it's just showing them later. It might have something to do with Doctor Who's growing international audience, but that's just speculation.
Source: Bleeding Cool