‘Downton Abbey’ season 3: More see Dan Stevens’ [spoiler]; hope for season 4

Downton AbbeyWhen the ratings first came in for the “Downton Abbey” season 2 Christmas special late last month, there was almost a feeling of disappointment as the show struggled to push beyond the 7 million mark. While this was still a reasonably solid number for a holiday when not every family is into watching TV, it was down a fairly decent margin from where the show was during both season 3 as a whole and the Christmas special the year before. (Warning: the following contains spoilers for American readers.)

However, the latest numbers that have come in now prove that many of the same people were watching the show as ever; however, many of them simply chose to record it rather than watching it live. Using systems similar to DVRs, a total of 10.28 million people ended up actually watching the two-hour episode that ended with the death of Dan Stevens’ Matthew Crawley, which actually helps to shoot it up to #2 on the list of most-watched Christmas specials behind only the monster known as “EastEnders.”

What these numbers really prove to us is that many of the criticisms that came down during the Christmas special were valid. There were a good many people upset about the frequent commercials, and thanks to that they decided to shave thirty minutes off of the show’s run time by recording it. This may seem like a lot of ad space to British viewers, but here in America we’re actually used to a rate that is a little bit higher than even this.

Do you think that we are going to see the same amount of viewers actually stay on board following Matthew’s death? We’ll find out for sure when “Downton Abbey” season 4 arrives on ITV in the fall. (It premieres on PBS on Sunday night in the United States.)

If you want to read some more scoop on when “Downton Abbey” season 4 could pick back up, you can find out over here.

Photo: ITV

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