[01/06/14 - 01:41 PM]
Two-Hour Premiere of "Downton Abbey, Season 4" on "Masterpiece" Highest Rated Drama Premiere in PBS History
PBS spins the numbers for Sunday, January 5.

[via press release from PBS]

Two-Hour Premiere of "Downton Abbey, Season 4" on "MASTERPIECE" Highest Rated Drama Premiere in PBS History

- 10.2 Million Viewers Tuned in for Season 4 Premiere -

ARLINGTON, VA; January 6, 2014 -- PBS and WGBH announced today that the premiere of "Downton Abbey, Season 4" on MASTERPIECE enchanted viewers nationwide as the Crawley family faced changes in the wake of last season's shocking finale. An average audience of 10.2 million viewers tuned in for Sunday's premiere. (Nielsen Fast National data, 6.2 household rating.)

The fourth season premiere of the Emmy(R), Golden Globe(R) and SAG Award(R)-winning series, a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE co-production, improved upon the average rating of the third season premiere of "Downton Abbey" by 22 percent (based on Fast Nationals, both seasons). Between 9:00-11:00 p.m., PBS tied with CBS as the most watched network on Sunday (based on weighted metered market averages).

"As this captivating drama continues, our audiences have been eagerly awaiting this new season to see what's next for these beloved characters," said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. "I'm so pleased that millions of viewers have returned to 'Downton Abbey' on their local PBS stations for what has become a post-holiday tradition."

"I'm delighted to see that the Crawley family's intrigue continues to beguile our viewers," said MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "Julian Fellowes has written every word of all four seasons of 'Downton,' and I toss him a huge bouquet on behalf of his American fans."

The new season will be available for free streaming on PBS station websites, the PBS Video Portal and PBS' apps on Xbox, Roku and Apple TV for a limited time after each national broadcast. Online excitement has been building for Season 4 over the past several months, with more than 2.3 million streams of previews and clips across all PBS platforms leading up to the Season 4 premiere. (Source: Google Analytics 9/8/13 - 1/5/13)

According to Nielsen SocialGuide, a Twitter TV audience of 2.9 million people sent 97,000 tweets during the premiere evening, generating a total of 15.2 million impressions and making it the #2 telecast, ranked by Unique Audience, across the whole day and excluding sports events. PBS and MASTERPIECE insiders - as well as moderators from Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo), Jarett Wieselman of BuzzFeed (@JarettSays) and special guests including Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) - will continue to host live discussions during each broadcast to connect directly with fans on social media.

To engage viewers in the series' premiere, more than 135 local PBS stations hosted premiere screenings in December and January, collectively drawing tens of thousands of fans nationwide. Member stations created events ranging from high teas to dinners to cruises to involve community members in the excitement of the series.

"Downton Abbey" is a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE Co-Production.


MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. Funding for the series is provided by Viking Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series' future.

About PBS

PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and over 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children's series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards... even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

  [january 2014]  


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