Check Out Our New Look

‘Downton Abbey’ Scores Best UK Season Premiere With 9.5M Viewers

By | Monday September 23, 2013 @ 1:54am PDT

Downton Abbey’s long-awaited fourth season kicked off Sunday night in the UK with a 90-minute episode. Last year’s Season 3 debut episode on ITV1 drew 8.6M viewers, and this year’s first outing averaged 9.5M in the overnights, peaking at 10.5M viewers. It drew a 39.6% share. The Season 3 start was down 200K viewers from Season 2, but it still went on to become the show’s highest-rated season in the UK with consolidated ratings averaging 11.9M viewers for a 40% share. Season 3 of Downton also was PBS’ highest-rated drama ever with a total of 24M viewers, a 7.7 average and an average season audience of 11.5M. Season 4 settles into its 9PM Sunday night slot on ITV1 for seven more weeks and in December will return as usual with an extended Christmas episode. U.S. viewers will see the first Downton episode of Season 4 on January 5th on PBS. Season 4 picks up six months after the untimely death of Downton heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens). The focus of this new go-round for the period drama is how his widow, Lady Mary, is coping with the loss, and her efforts at rebuilding her life.

Comments (12)

Hot Clip: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 8:39pm PDT

Hit period drama Downton Abbey kicks off its fourth season Sunday on ITV in the UK. States-bound folk will have to wait until Jaunary 5 for PBS to launch this next go-round in the trials and tribulations of the upstairs/downstairs crowd at the Crawley family estate. The new season starts six months on from the death of Downton heir Matthew Crawley. An important focus of the new season, exec producer Gareth Neame recently told Deadline, will be how Matthew’s widow, Lady Mary Crawley, deals with his passing and her future. Here’s a first look:

Comments 21

Guinness Record For ‘Downton Abbey’

By | Wednesday September 14, 2011 @ 9:54am PDT

Guinness World Records has awarded Downton Abbey with the accolade of the “Highest critical review ratings for a TV show,” which the record book says means the PBS Masterpiece series created and written by Julian Fellowes is the most “critically well-received show in the world,” snatching the honor from previous record holders Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy and Modern Family. Downton, which has been nominated for 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, averaged a score of 92 out of 100 on Metacritic, which provided the date of compiled reviews.

Comments (10)

Imagine John Lennon And Sherlock Holmes Headlining PBS Masterpiece Fall Season

Masterpiece’s Fall kicks off on Sunday, October 3 with the second series of Wallander, the Swedish detective portrayed by Kenneth Branagh, memorably described by one critic as “having the permanent mien of a recently slaughtered halibut”. British critics have found series two relentlessly gloomy, although they couldn’t find much to criticise in the acting, stories or production design. The Sunday Times called it “close to perfect” while the Telegraph called this new miniseries “top-notch”. Branagh tracks murderers across the beautifully photographed, yet roiling with evil, farm country of southern Sweden. BBC Worldwide hopes that Wallander will sell as well internationally as ITV’s Inspector Morse did, which sold to more than 200 territories. Both shows share the same confounding storylines — with the solution to the mystery pleasingly beyond the ken of most TV viewers — and the same fjord-like glacial pacing.

Sunday, October 23 sees the BBC’s acclaimed modern-day retelling of Sherlock begins for three consecutive weeks. To be honest, I couldn’t see the point of updating the Conan Doyle stories to 21st century London, especially coming so soon after Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes being released at Christmas. After all, the Holmes character has provided the template for so many TV detectives from Horatio Caine in CSI: Miami to Doctor Gregory House (as in Holmes, geddit?) to the Beeb’s own Luther. Cor blimey guv’nor, I didn’t ‘alf call that one wrong. … Read More »

Comments (11)

Can The Miniseries Emmy Field Be Brought Back From The Brink Of Extinction?

Nellie Andreeva

History’s The Kennedys and Starz’s The Pillars of the Earth can’t come soon enough. The miniseries form has been on life-support in the past couple of years, with only one U.S. network, HBO, making consistent efforts in the arena. As a result, the nomination field for best miniseries has developed a familiar pattern in the past two years: only two spots on the nomination ballot: one for HBO’s mini of the year and one for a British import broadcast as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series. Last year, it was PBS’ Little Dorrit and HBO’s Generation Kill. Little Dorrit won. This year, it’s HBO’s war extravaganza The Pacific and PBS’ Return to Cranford. With its leading 24 Emmy nominations, The Pacific looks destined to win, following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Band of Brothers. But with the series field brimming with strong contenders to a point that the top categories were expended from 5 to 6 slots last year, it is sad to see the mini-series category teetering on the brink of viability with two nominees. There had been talk about possibly merging the TV movie and mini-series categories but longform, which hails back to the early days of TV, has a strong lobby at the TV Academy, with purist arguing against mixing what they consider two very different forms. So, just like the plan for pre-taping most of the long-form Emmy categories was squashed last summer, the dwindling miniseries field is getting spared, at least for now. And there are … Read More »

Comments (7)