Downton Abbey Finale Posts High Ratings For PBS

By Leslie Kasperowicz 2012-02-23 11:42:25 discussion comments
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PBS has a bona fide hit on its hands. The season finale of Downton Abbey, which aired just this past Sunday, has posted numbers for PBS not seen since 2009. We’re talking Mad Men sort of ratings here, an amazing feat for a Masterpiece Classic program.

EW announced the impressive numbers for the end of the second season today. The show was up in viewership overall this season, as more and more people have caught on to the fact that this is a seriously good show. Twenty-five percent more people tuned in for season two, and with the DVDs of the season already released and the first season available on Netflix, we can bet that even more people will be discovering this little gem of a show soon.

The first-run viewer numbers exceed shows such as American Horror Story and Mad Men, both of which are considered to be pretty successful. That American audiences are tuning in to a British period drama airing on PBS is impressive, and hopefully a good sign for the promotion of more well-written television content like Downton in the future. The ratings also show that the series is pulling in more viewers in the 18-34 age range than it did in the first season.

Downton Abbey has already been renewed for a third season and Shirley Maclaine has been confirmed to appear on the series. The new episodes are slated to start airing in September across the pond and will follow here in the U.S. on PBS early in the new year.
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