All I need to do is mention Downton Abbey upfront and fans of British television on both sides of the pond will know of what I speak. Written and created by Julian Fellowes, Oscar-winning writer of Gosford Park and star of Monarch of the Glen, and starring the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, the series is another in a long, long line of period costume dramas coming out of the UK that are unmatched in quality anywhere on television. In recent years, viewers have been treated to the likes of Cranford and Return to Cranford on BBC, ITV and PBS. Not since the original Upstairs Downstairs have viewers more eagerly awaited a series of this magnitude.
How can this not be greatness when described, as only the Daily Mail can describe a series, as “…a bitchy heiress in a chiffon nightie, a footman with a chip on his shoulder and Dame Maggie in a bustle and bate: I’m in telly comfort heaven!
Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, Downton Abbey, which portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them has just recently premiered on ITV in the UK to both strong audience numbers and critical acclaim and has been confirmed for U.S. broadcast beginning January 9, 2011 on PBS, and KERA, continuing the stellar 41st season of Masterpiece.
2011 will be a great year on both sides of the pond
Good news for viewers of ITV and PBS as the U.S. awaits the premiere of season one in January 2011. After only two of 7 episodes from season one having been broadcast, ITV has just announced the commissioning of a second season to begin production in 2011. Until then, enjoy the preview.