‘Downton Abbey’ season 4 notes: Dan Stevens, PBS, and international surprises

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Downton Abbey CastWe have a number of interesting “Downton Abbey” stories to check out today, but we’ll start with what has been a pretty interesting development for the show’s devoted fans all the way in Australia: the season 3 Christmas special for them has been split in half.

First of all, we just have to say how sorry we feel for some of these people, as they have been forced to literally sit around and wait much longer than anyone else around the world for this episode to air. (We’re sure many of them have already been accidentally spoiled as to the final few scenes.) Not only that, but the show’s network in Seven has chosen to divide the episode up across the next two Sundays. Is this certainly frustrating for viewers of the show? We have to imagine so, since you have already been waiting for quite a long time. America and Britain have of course already seen it, and even viewers in New Zealand had an opportunity to check out the series already.

As much as this has to be unfortunate, though, we have to say that things could be worse; when we first heard there was controversy involving Australia limiting “Downton Abbey” to an hour, we thought they were going to actually trim down the episode’s run time.

(Warning: If you are okay with spoilers for that Christmas special, read on ahead.)

A video of the comments – Remember when Dan Stevens explained earlier this year why he needed to move on from the series? His “I had to do what I had to do” comment drew a pretty strong reaction from the show’s fans, but in actually getting to see the video of him making the famous quote below (via the Vancouver Sun), it doesn’t really feel like he was making it out of spite or with any negative emotion behind it at all. The series is moving on just fine without Matthew Crawley, and are several episodes into season 4 production already.

More on the “Downton Abbey” impact – Finally, let’s turn to something that so many of us long figured to be true: that “Downton Abbey” in many ways helped to spark the sale of “Mr. Selfridge” to PBS, and is bringing more interest than ever to period dramas in America.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Paul Bucciere of ITV’s international / American distribution had the following to say:

“The Downton Abbey effect has been huge. It’s one of those shows that only comes along once in a long time that lifts all boats. The halo of that show helped us sell Selfridge. The finale of Downton Abbey gave the biggest numbers in PBS history. What it’s doing on Netflix. The impact of that show can’t be underestimated.”

If you want to read some more “Downton Abbey” coverage courtesy of show creator Julian Fellowes and star Hugh Bonneville, be sure to visit the link here.

Photo: ITV

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