‘Downton Abbey’ season 4 will not air earlier in America

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Downton AbbeySorry, “Downton Abbey” fans: despite some protests to push up the date of the season airing in America as a way in which to avoid spoilers, it is not going to be happening for at least the fourth season.

As the New York Daily News confirms, the people behind bringing the hit drama series to America at PBS have decided that it is a better move for them overall to keep the show airing in early January, rather than trying to line the show up with when it airs its original episodes in the United Kingdom during the fall.

As for the reason behind this decision, we figure it comes down to just three things:

1. The ratings – The show already does incredible numbers for PBS in January; so if it is not broke, why fix it? Even some who know the spoilers opt to watch it anyway.

2. The competition – There’s simply not as great of a place for “Downton Abbey” in the fall. While February is a competitive month for the end of the season, things across other networks are fairly quiet at the start of January. Meanwhile, the fall has on Sunday nights everything from football to “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland,” and season premieres of all the network shows.

3. Commercials – There’s really no time to edit the show down with near-simultaneous airings so that it airs without commercials here in America. Plus, it doing so at the same time as the British airing really would do a disservice to all of the folks paying for advertisements over on ITV.

At the end of the day, it is understandable that American viewers would be upset, since the Twitter-verse makes it hard to stay spoiler-free. However, know this: countries like Britain and Australia have to wait months at a time for many of our shows, so it only seems fair that we grin and bear it for one of their shows to come here. Until there is some sort of international channel, this is the only reason solution there is.

If you want to read about Hugh Bonneville’s strict no-spoilers policy while filming “Downton Abbey” season 4, you can do so over at the link here.

Photo: ITV / PBS

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