It appears that every major network took a huge ratings hit on Sunday, as the numbers were down across the board. Except in one case….
PBS announced today that the third season finale of Downton Abbey drew 8.2 million viewers, up from the 7.9 million viewers who turned in for the premiere in January. In addition, the series was also one of the most socially-active shows of the night, with PBS trumpeting that the series was the the second most tweeted-about show on television Sunday night, on broadcast or cable.
Throughout its third season, Downton Abbey consistently drew four times the audience of PBS’ regular primetime average, and increased viewership over the show’s second season by 66%. It’s huge to consider, given the prodigious amount of spoilers spread across the web after the show’s Christmas Special aired in the UK, that many fans seemed not to know about the huge shocker at the end of Sunday night’s finale. Insiders suspect that the Downton finale was responsible for much of the downturn in ratings suffered by the other major networks.
A fourth season of Downton Abbey has already started production though no premiere date has been announced.
Full story: HitFix