‘Downton Abbey’ fans have less than a week to wait before the start of Season 3. This phenomenally successful program will finally reach TV screens in the US on January 6, with a 2-hour premiere!
The Great War is over, Lady Mary and Matthew are finally engaged to be married …. but there are social changes to be accommodated in the lives of the Downton set, personal crises and romantic intrigues abound, and Lady Cora’s American mother arrives at the English country estate to set the cat among the pigeons. All of this is guaranteed to keep audiences riveted to the PBS channel on Sunday evenings until the final 90-minute episode on February 17.
Our well loved characters are back to keep us enthralled – Lord Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville, Lady Cora by Elizabeth McGovern, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew, played by Dan Stevens. Of course, Downton wouldn’t be what it is without the redoubtable Dowager Countess, brilliantly portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith, and viewers are eagerly anticipating the performance of Academy Award®-winner, Shirley MacLaine, as Martha Levinson, Lady Cora’s mother.
As far as the downstairs characters are concerned, the question on everybody’s lips is what will happen to Bates (so sympathetically played by Brendan Coyle) and his feisty young wife, Anna (Joanne Froggatt). Then there’s Carson, O’Brien, Mrs Hughes, Mrs Patmore and Daisy …. and so many more.
It’s hardly surprising that Seasons 1 & 2 have together won nine Primetime Emmy®
Awards and a Golden Globe® for Best Mini-Series. Written and created by Julian Fellowes, ‘Downton Abbey’ is co-produced by Carnival Films and MASTERPIECE. Carnival’s Executive Producer, Gareth Neame, says: “We couldn’t be more thrilled by the way American critics and audiences have taken Downton to their hearts and I’m so excited to be showing them Season 3.”
With 17.1 million US viewers tuning in to ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 2, it’s the most-watched MASTERPIECE series on record, and also the most talked about. As Reuters reported: “What sets ‘Downton Abbey’ apart is the buzz the show is creating on new social media websites like Twitter and Facebook”. The US media loved it as well. “Lightning can strike twice,” said USA Today, while The Hollywood Reporter referred to the series a “one of the great melodramas of the modern television age”, and The Los Angeles Times described it as “big, beautifully acted, and romantic.”
According to MASTERPIECE Executive Producer, Rebecca Eaton, “In the excellence of its writing, acting and production, ‘Downton Abbey’ arrives at a perfect time. Long-form episodic drama is the ideal fit for the way people watch television today. With time-shifting, DVDs, and streaming, viewers have rediscovered the joys of luxuriating in a sweeping story. MASTERPIECE has been committed to superb long-form drama since the beginning. We’ve never lost our audience, and now we’re attracting new and younger viewers, too.”
The first episode of ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3 airs on PBS on Sunday January 6. Check the PBS website for broadcast times on your local station.
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