‘Downton Abbey’ season 3: Now at a new high

“Downton Abbey” fans now have a whole new reason to celebrate: the numbers for the latest episode of the hit ITV series are better than ever, and this should silence any of the critics who were somewhat concerned that the show was going to start losing a little bit of its steam.

Overall, the latest episode of the drama ended up drawing a whopping 10 million viewers that makes this the most-watched episode of the entire season. Not only that, but the series also has the rare distinction at the moment of actually topping the other ITV behemoth in “The X Factor,” who led into “Downton Abbey” with an average audience of 9.8 million viewers. The talent competition also had its strongest numbers of the season, though they were down sharply still from this point last season. (Meanwhile, the “Downton Abbey” ratings are actually up by 800,000 viewers from the same broadcast in 2011.)

So what is making this series so popular now? Really, it may very well be its universal appeal. This is the rare series that can be appreciated by all, as there are characters that everyone can relate to, whether it be across different age ranges or class distinctions. Yes, the show is in some ways an idealized version of life in the early 20th century, but it is still hard to deny that it is well-written, thoroughly entertaining, and provides just enough humor that it never feels as though it is weighed down by all of the sadness and drama in some of its stories.

With the cliffhanger surrounding Edith being left at the altar, the only question we have now is whether or not the ratings are going to rise again.

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