'Downton Abbey' season four premiere sets PBS ratings record

By Daniel S Levine,

The Downton Abbey fever is not about to end, even going into the show’s fourth season. The British period drama’s popularity continues to grow and Sunday night’s season premiere broke another PBS ratings record.

Sunday night’s two-hour premiere began at 9 p.m., drawing 10.2 million viewers. It’s up 22 percent from the season three premiere, reports Deadline. It’s also up from the season three finale, which drew 8.2 million viewers, the previous high for the show and PBS.

The episode drew a 6.2 overall household rating, according to Nielsen, setting the record for a drama premiere on PBS.

“As this captivating drama continues, our audiences have been eagerly awaiting this new season to see what’s next for these beloved characters,” PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger said in a statement, reports Entertainment Weekly. “I’m so pleased that millions of viewers have returned to Downton Abbey on their local PBS stations for what has become a post-holiday tradition.”

Clearly, PBS’ decision to stick with delayed airings until after the season premieres in the U.K. is paying off. The show was created by Julian Fellowes and is produced by Carnival Films.

You can check out our recap here.

image: Amazon

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