Downton Abbey's Season 4 May Get An Early U.S. Premiere

By Jessica Rawden 2012-12-06 13:51:35 discussion comments
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For years, Americans have had the dilemma of knowing the ITV and PBS drama gets an early run in the U.K. in the fall and doesn’t pop up in the States until after the holiday break. This means that there are always tantalizing recaps and wiki pages just a click away, and American fans have to deal with that temptation, along with the long wait. Now, fans may be able to avoid some of those hurdles, as PBS is considering moving the broadcast to the fall.

Entertainment Weekly first broke the news, noting that if Downton Abbey is pushed back, it will air much closer to the U.K. release date, although that still doesn’t necessarily mean the show will be on the same schedule as the U.K.'s. Publicist Olivia Wong told the outlet that if the changes are made, they would be made to help with the aforementioned spoiler problem, and also to keep piracy at bay. Nothing is set in stone yet, and PBS has some time to toy with the decision, as Season 3 doesn’t even air in the states until January.

There are some obstacles to bringing Downton Abbey to PBS early. The first is the slew of fall fodder that would hit TV around the same time. Wong says that January is the “optimal time” for the show to air and that PBS believes continuing to air at that time would probably bring in higher viewership than a fall schedule. Additionally, there are “financial considerations” that go into deciding schedule timing, which probably means it would be more expensive for PBS to air in the fall.

The good news is that the network is considering the prospect. So, if you would like to see Downton Abbey return next fall instead of next winter, keep your fingers crossed.

Season 3 of Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey premieres on January 6, 2013.
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