Is it January yet? We want our Downton Abbey, please! However, at today’s TCA’s (Television Critics Association) with PBS, the network president and CEO Paula Kerger announced that the hit British period soap opera will return to the United States on Sunday night, January 5th, 2014! So once again, the U.K. will have seen the entire season in the fall and we will have to try to avoid spoilers!
According to USA Today, Kerger related to the press that the public service’s ratings are up 5% in prime time year over year, and up 26% on Sunday alone, driven on that night by PBS’s biggest hit in decades, Downton Abbey. And she’s looking forward to another good year, with ‘Downton’ returning Jan. 5, and being joined by such returning favorites as Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge and Sherlock.
“We are living in a golden era of drama in television,” says Kerger. “There is some very rich content and we have found that Sunday night on public television has become a great night for drama.”
As for why she won’t move ‘Downton’ to air closer to the U.K’s programming schedule for the Emmy winning drama series, she said what she had last year at this time, the fall is too competitive, and PBS feels it actually benefits from the word-of-mouth coming out of Britain. After all, last January, ‘Downton’ gave PBS its biggest audiences since The Civil War. “We kind of don’t want to mess with that if it’s working so well.” Though, she adds, for other series, PBS is not opposed to running them closer to the British airdates.
So what do you think Downton Abbey fans? Are you upset that we have to wait till January for all-new episodes to air in the U.S.? Do you think Kerger is making the wrong call? Or, are you OK with it? Comment below!