Downton Abbey is big draw for PBS
The recent premiere of British period drama Downton Abbey's second season marked a major boon in viewership for PBS. In fact, the Nielsen ratings were double that of PBS's average prime-time numbers, and there was a significant jump in the 18-to-49-year old viewer demographic.. So, what's all the fuss about this show and why are people so drawn to it? Why haven't serial period dramas caught on in the US in quite the same way until now?
Downton Abbey is unique in having just the right balance of attractive actors in the midst of juicy Melrose Place-levels of drama (it is a soap opera after all), but being layered enough to appeal to those who like their programs a little more high-minded and less campy. It doesn't hurt that its costumes and mise-en-scene are exquisite, and that the more humorous elements setting off the drama are delightfully dry and witty (Maggie Smith is amazing). With the shadow of WWI cast over this season's story arc, you'd better believe we'll be glued to our screens.
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