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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Season Four Premiere Breaks Ratings Record With 10.2 Million Viewers!

Courtesy/PBS

Courtesy/PBS

The phenomenon that is Downton Abbey just keeps getting stronger!  Last night on PBS Masterpiece Classic, the fourth season two-hour premiere set a new record for the series airings in the United States bringing in at least 10.2 million viewers who tuned in live (or within a few hours via digital video recorders).

Those numbers are up from 7.9 million at the start of season three and 8.2 million for last season’s heartbreaking finale which saw Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) killed-off!.  When all was said and done that’s a 22 percent jump in the ratings, year over year, easily making it the highest-rated drama in PBS history.

In addition to this being a personal best for the British soap opera, it also topped many primetime dramas in the ratings numbers for the night including CBS’ The Good Wife and the return of Revenge on ABC!

Season four of Downton Abbey aired several months ago in the United Kingdom.  PBS has received criticism for its decision to delay the episodes in the United States.  But they say the sky-high ratings two seasons in a row are proof that their scheduling strategy is a wise one.   Paula Kerger, the chief executive of PBS, said in a statement on Monday, “I’m so pleased that millions of viewers have returned to Downton Abbey on their local PBS stations for what has become a post-holiday tradition.”

What do you think of the record breaking numbers from last night for Downton Abbey?  Did you get on the bandwagon and watch the show for the first time?  Or, did you return to see what happens next after season three?  Let us know!

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Sal Piscioneri
Sal Piscioneri

The show is great. What about all of us watching that do not get counted. Imagine how much higher the ratings would be if all of us were counted in the ratings?

Cathi
Cathi

An absolutely well written and acted show. From everyone finding out OBrien is gone, the firing of the nanny from hell, Mary’s depression & rise. But the best scenes were Carson letting Mary cry & Maggie Smith in every scene. Welcome back to Sunday nights. Move over American TV the Brits are back & they’re the bezt.

Mark Y
Mark Y

Support PBS!

MikkosC
MikkosC

I’m a $5 a month sustaining member; started before the new year began. I do the same thing with NPR.

Kate A
Kate A

This is such a beautifully written, directed, produced and acted program on television. It is and should be called Masterpiece . It is so nice to watch something that goes into people’s souls instead of constant sex and violence. If only we could have a daytime soap like this! IMO, Y&R comes the closest to this.

JimR
JimR

I actually saw Season 4 of “Downton Abbey” last year when it aired on ITV…Lots of twists, surprises, new characters, shocks, etc…The Christmas episode ranks as one of the best with Shirley Maclaine.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Ive seen only bits from seasons past but i consider myself a new viewer this season after watching most of the premier episode!!!

Shay
Shay

Oh, do catch up on all the previous seasons, jimh….it will be well worth your while! Such an excellent program in all respects…acting, writing, production values, etc. I can view the reruns over and over again and never tire of them…truly the mark of a great show! (Particularly love the intelligent, witty dialogue…the Dowager Countess and Lady Mary are my favorites, although James “Jimmy” Kent is becoming one, too….he’s so adorbs and love his cheeky insouciance!) P.S. Ron C. should take a page from Julian Fellowes’ superb example of writing and storytelling…LOL.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I like Mary and the one who played in Harry Potter…her name escapes me…im new to this show so im not too familiar with it yet…i like that one guy…i think he’s Carson? It brings back fond memories for me…i was a fan of Upstairs, Downstairs which i watch again on utube! I also like Coranation Street…the British do it best!!!

Shay
Shay

Right about Dame Maggie…she is so phenomenal as Violet, I sometimes cannot believe it….love, love, love her!!! I simply thought you were referring to one of the younger cast members as having been part of the Potter franchise, but oh yes, Miss Smith was featured in that successful film series, too! However, I think after this crowning achievement in her long and storied career she is forever going to be identified as the “Dowager Countess.” Superb…absolutely superb she is as the feisty, formidable lady!!!

Shay
Shay

Yes, jimh, the Brits do it best!!! I watch so many of their programs on PBS…mostly the mysteries and period pieces, which I adore, but some Britcoms, too! Used to enjoy “Eastenders,” as well, until they took it off in my area! As for Downton characters, Carson is indeed wonderful….he was amazing in some of the past episodes! Same for Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Patmore, really almost all of the downstairs people. Just love, love, love this show! The romance between Lady Mary and her late husband, Matthew (sigh…) was so circuitous, but very satisfying when it FINALLY came to fruition. His death was truly heartbreaking, as is his wife’s grief. This program is so rich and complex, it can be discussed for hours, so don’t get me started!!!! But you definitely must check out the previous episodes….they are all soooo good!…P.S. Saw the updated “Upstairs, Downstairs” last year…kind of meh. Never got into Harry Potter, so I’m not sure who you mean…maybe Cora’s new ladies maid, Edna?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Maggie Smith is the one from Harry Potter who plays Violet on Downtown Abbey…as for Upstairs Downstairs i like the original version from the 1970s…the updated version was ok but not as good as the earlier version.

Harlee
Harlee

Most excellent Downton Abby & The Good Wife proves that prime time soaps live on with great quality and excellent soap writing can be accomplished with the right people….if daytime would get back half of this and which they have lost over the years with repeated stories on doppelgangers, bombs, rewriting histories, etc and see good stories are coming through character-driven actions within will bring in great ratings. The only daytime soap who is serving up some great character stories is DOOL with some excellent high melodrama to boot….is classic soap opera…LOVING IT!

Bonnie
Bonnie

Last year a friend told me about Downton Abbey and after listening to him go on and on, I decided to catch up. I watched the entire first 2 seasons just before the third season began. I was captivated and transported, as so many others are.
I loved the premier episode of this season and I think it was nice to learn something a little personal about Carson.
And I was astounded that the nanny referred to Sibyl’s daughter as “the chauffer’s child”, as if she had no standing! So glad she is gone…..

Breaking News

IT’S OFFICIAL: Downton Abbey The Movie To Go Into Production This Summer

The highly-anticipated and rumored revival of Downton Abbey to the big screen is on!  Production is slated to begin later this summer.

From what we understand, all of the original cast is set to reprise their signature roles in the motion picture, written by series creator Julian Fellowes.

Fellowes will also serve as the executive producer along with other ‘Downton’ notables behind the scenes: Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge, and Nigel Marchant. Brian Percival is set to direct.  Percival also directed the pilot episode of the critically-acclaimed and beloved period soap opera series.

In a statement, Gareth Neame expressed: “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production.  Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”

Focus Features chairman, Peter Kujawski, shared: “Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen.”

Downton Abbey ran for six seasons on PBS  and received 15 Primetime Emmy awards and 69 nominations.

Actress Joanne Froggatt, who plays maid Anna Bates, took to Twitter with much enthusiasm at the news: “Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together! #DowntonMovie #DowntonAbbey”

So, thrilled to hear the Downton Abbey movie is happening? Comment below.

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Movie Project Moving Forward; Projected For Production In 2018

Courtesy/PBS

It looks like all of those earlier reports months ago about a production being put together for Downton Abbey: The Movie, may finally becoming to fruition. Numerous items detail that motion picture project is moving forward with production slated for sometime next year.

Michael Edelstein, president at NBCUniversal International Studios, told the AP: “We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”

Currently, the cast and writer Julian Fellowes have been on hand at the Downton Abbey exhibition which debuted in Singapore. However, some notable members of the company seemed surprised by the news including Laura Carmichael (Edith): “Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon.”

Variety reports that an NBCUniversal spokesman confirmed the studio hopes to put the movie into production in 2018.

The Downton Abbey exhibition however, is set to travel to the United States and Australia with dates to be announced. (more…)

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Downton Abbey

SAG AWARD NOMINATIONS: Downton Abbey Scores Drama Series Ensemble Nod; This Is Us Star Sterling K. Brown Tapped For Two!

Courtesy/ITV

Nominations were announced this morning for the 23rd Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards for performances in motion pictures and television.

The awards ill be handed out Sunday, January 29th at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony will air live at 8/7c (5 p.m./PT) on both TBS and TNT.

For its sixth and final season, the British period soap, Downton Abbey once again made the finals in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama.  They will go up against, The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and Westworld.  On the snub side: the widely acclaimed and highly-rated This Is Us failed to score a nomination in the category.

In addition, this is the first time that Dame Maggie Smith did not wind up with a Lead Actress in a Drama Series nomination for her performance as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey. (more…)

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Next week on Y&R, Hilary is fighting for her life, but the prognosis is not good. Friends and loved ones come to the hospital and ask for forgiveness and to tell her to fight. But how can she? Watch the latest promo from CBS Daytime below. Leave A Comment

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