Downton Returns to Outstanding Ratings
As fans of the series are bound to know, Downton Abbey returned last Sunday for the U.S. premiere of its third season. The series, which airs on PBS in the States, drew in an astounding 7.9 million viewers according to a recent post from TVLine. This number comes close to doubling the 4.2 million viewers who tuned into the series for its season two opener.
Although fans of the series are likely pleased that the show debuted to such good ratings I would argue that this is actually bad for them in the long run. For some reason, likely financial, the British series waits several months before airing here in the States. Downton Abbey’s third series, for instance, premiered in the UK back in September of 2012. That is a full four months between UK and U.S. premiere dates. The delay, the proliferation of spoilers, and the ease of obtaining the series illegally online before it is available in the U.S. have led to many people of my generation to obtain it illegally. Had the third series premiered to softer ratings, we might have seen the powers-that-be close this window as it has with several other shows. With a premiere this well watched, I think the chances of this happening are much less likely.
Hopefully in the end I’m wrong, but to me this is definitely a case of a show doing too well for its fan’s own good.