Downton Abbey Viewership Exceeds Expectations

WOSU hosted a High Tea and Premiere of the first hour of Downton Abbey season three at the historic Southern Theatre in Columbus to a packed house.(Photo: Ray LaVoie)
WOSU hosted a High Tea and Premiere of the first hour of Downton Abbey season three at the historic Southern Theatre in Columbus to a packed house.(Photo: Ray LaVoie)

There were over 7.9 million viewers for the premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS stations across the country including WOSU. Good luck, impersonators.  They are lining up at the commercial networks to try to take advantage of the Downton Abbey buzz by doing what they usually do, producing a dumbed down version with commercials every 14 minutes.

Its always been my thought that watching a show like Downton Abbey is similar to a movie theater experience as people get larger HDTV television sets and there are no commercials to interfere with the flow.  No commercial station can match it. It was an actual theater experience last weekend as we gathered with about 600 of our friends to watch Downton’s first hour at the historic Southern Theatre.  It was a communal experience as people laughed, booed and cheered together throughout the program.  What fun!

We’re so pleased to see the New York Times and other coverage of this phenomenon.  The Times article pointed out that the premiere program of season three measured 10 times as much conversation on Twitter as the only two higher-rated shows on Sunday.  And if you ask around you will find that people old and young (including my 22-year old daughter) are hooked completely on Downton. If interested in a fun take on season three on Downton Abbey, you might want to read this blog from Lizzy Acker,  a contributor at KQED in San Francisco.  I like her writing!   There are twists and turns ahead, so keep watching on Sunday nights at 9 pm on WOSU TV.

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