Downton Abbey breaks rating records in US

Julian Fellowes' 1920s series has become the highest rating TV drama in PBS history

The series three finale of Downton Abbey has broken ratings records in the US.

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Julian Fellowes’ drama about the family and staff of Downton Abbey has become PBS’s highest rating TV drama ever, reaching over 24 million viewers during its run.

The final episode – which saw Downton’s annual cricket match, a trip to a jazz club in London and tensions between Thomas and Jimmy come to a head – beat all broadcast and cable competition when it was broadcast on Sunday 17 February, making it the highest rated show on American television that evening.

12.3 million Americans tuned in to watch Downton’s finale, a high point for the series which averaged 11.5 million viewers per episode.

The managing director of Carnival Films Gareth Neame said: “The fact that Downton Abbey was the most watched programme across all networks for the series finale is truly exceptional. This has never been done before and it is truly gratifying to see how the U.S. audience’s appreciation grow so much year by year.”

Series three of Downton Abbey aired in the UK last year. The fourth series is currently in production and is expected to broadcast later this year.

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