Over the last few years Downton Abbey has become such an institution it’s hard to imagine a time when show bosses would have been unsure of its success.
But of course the period drama, following the Crawley family and their staff, started off as an idea on a scrap of paper just like any other series.
In fact, before Downton Abbey became the huge success it now is, ITV controller Peter Fincham was concerned that viewers would be confused by its title.
“There was some discussion about the word ‘Abbey’,” Fincham revealed at this week’s season six launch in central London, admitting that execs were worried people would think it was “a show about nuns.”
Can you imagine? Tuning into series one thinking you were getting sisters, wimples and prayers, and catching the episode where Lady Mary ends up with a dead Turkish diplomat in her bed instead? You’d have had quite a fright…
Downton Abbey returns to ITV for its sixth and final season next month