‘Downton Abbey’ season 3: The upward trend continues

At this very moment, we really cannot see ITV being much happier about the performance of “Downton Abbey” than they already are. Why? Just like the show itself, the ratings just seem to be getting better and better as time goes by.

For the latest installment airing Sunday night, which included such events as (spoiler alert!) Ethel improving her cooking skills and Bates’ release from prison, ended up drawing an average audience of 10.1 million viewers once figures from ITV+1 are calculated in. The fact that any show in Britain manages to score this sort of audience is astounding, mostly because it would be the equivalent of a show here in America scoring more than 50 million viewers. (Then again, audiences stateside tend to be divided more thanks in part to a greater amount of a choices that are made available to them.)

So how will the series air when it ultimately airs on PBS in America this January? This is something that we have become increasingly curious about, especially as super-fans in America have chosen to check out the series more online than actually waiting around for it to air months later. The season 2 finale averaged 5.4 million viewers (the largest audience for PBS since 2009), and even with the increased viewing online, we do expect similar viewership numbers. After all, the popularity of the show itself has blossomed, and there may also be a contingent of people who want to watch the show as it is intended to be seen (on television) rather than just checking it out online.

Are you still stunned in some ways by the immense popularity of the series, or do you see this as yet another fine example of quality trumping all? Be sure to share some more of your thoughts below!

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