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Downton Abbey' Premiere Hits 7.9 Million, Almost Doubles Previous Season


[quote]Rivaling broadcast outings, the British import starts its third season with a huge surge and quadruples the typical primetime showing for PBS.

The British import, which already concluded its third season in its native UK, surged 96 percent over its previous season premiere when it returned to PBS on Sunday night. The two-hour premiere pulled a whopping 7.9 million viewers and besting all but CBS in the time period.

Downton Abbey's growth comes after spending nearly a year off of U.S. airwaves, though that time saw the period soap burrow into pop culture and nab even more love from the Emmys, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

PBS, which airs Downton Abbey as a part of its Masterpiece Classic franchise, touted in a release that the huge numbers quadrupled the network's average primetime showing.

Elsewhere on television, only CBS' combo of The Good Wife and The Mentalist eclipsed PBS in total viewers. The broadcast network averaged 10.3 million viewers during the same two-hour block, according to fast national returns.

“Downton Abbey continues to enthrall audiences nationwide, and this season is especially riveting with the addition of Shirley MacLaine to the cast and the lively interaction between her and Maggie Smith,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger of the news. “I’m so pleased that audiences have returned to Downton Abbey on their local stations to continue to enjoy some of the best drama on television.”

The Masterpiece Classic broadcast of the season two finale brought 5.4 million viewers to PBS, and the series sophomore showing added as much as 50 percent with seven days of DVR viewing.

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 601/07/2013

Imagine how many more viewers would have tuned in if Matthew had a chin.

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 101/07/2013

Downton Abbey is the best show on television. The acting, plot, scenery and production details are outstanding.

Don't shy away from watching this great show in case you think it may be stuffy--it's not. It's like a British 'Peyton Place.' Maggie Smith is an internatinal treasure.

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 201/07/2013

A little disingenuous to call Shirley Maclaine an "addition to the cast" - she's only in the first two hours, yes?

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 301/07/2013

Nobody watches Downton Abbey but women and homosexuals.

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 401/07/2013

Straight females would probably prefer The Good Wife.

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 501/07/2013

Many straight women watch Downton Abbey, R5 - I know several in my family that do, including my mother.

by The cultural phenomenon continuesreply 601/07/2013
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