Friday, April 19, 2024

“Downton Abbey” Season 3 Debut Scores Like Crazy for PBS–Second only to NFL Game on Fox


“Downton Abbey” scored 7.9 million viewers last night, and quadrupled PBS’s regular evening rating. Wow. According to PBS just now: Between 9:00-11:00 p.m., PBS was the second-most watched broadcast network on Sunday. Highest local-market ratings were at member stations KCTS-Seattle (9.6 rating, 17 share), WGBH-Boston (8.8/14), KLRU-Austin (8.1/13) and WNET-New York (8.0/12).

Seattle? Who knew? That city didn’t even exist in the minds of the Granthams et al back in 1920. But at least New York and Boston pulled their weight. “Downton” ratings should calm down a little now as the season settles in. But the final show of this season, aka the Christmas Special, will probably be even bigger since Dan Stevens –ignoring advice from David Caruso and Patrick Duffy– leaves the series in a blaze of ignominy.

The only show that did better last night was the Seahawks vs. Redskins on Fox. Otherwise, “Downton” ruled.

And Mitt Romney wanted to get rid of PBS. I’ll bet Ann and several Romneys were actually watching Mary and Matthew’s wedding!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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