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Julian Fellowes wants ‘Downton’ simulcast? PBS delays ‘Downton Abbey’ in USA

Julian Fellowes wants Downton Abbey simulcast
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The American fans of “Downton Abbey” are always trying to find out what happens in the story after watching the latest episode of the show on PBS. Perhaps that is why creator Julian Fellowes wants a “Downton Abbey” simulcast to cater to the fans in the United States that seem to be months behind the story arc broadcast in the United Kingdom. According to Digital Spy on Wednesday, the “Downton Abbey” details that are being put out for viewers on one side of the pond are actually ruining the story for fans on the other side.

The American and British fans are very loyal to the show, but since PBS (in America) waits four months before airing what was already broadcast in the United Kingdom, there is no connection between the fans. There are people in the United Kingdom who are discussing the series as it happens. Then fans in America see the chats online and it ruins the show. The details are equal to spoilers for USA fans.

It seems that Julian Fellowes wants to put an end to the madness and offers up a solution of a simulcast. It would allow people from around the world to watch the show and it would be within a 24-hour period instead of months later.

So how would this work for PBS? It’s unlikely the network would be willing to reconsider the idea as the show offers up a reason for people to support the network. The old-fashioned business model of PBS might throw a huge wrench into the idea. Not known for being supportive to new ideas and wanting to keep small, PBS might insist that the viewers wait. And if the network has the contract for the show, it would be completely in their right to do so.

Earlier this year, PBS chief Paula Kerger insisted that “Downton Abbey” will stay in the January time slot, as it has become a "tradition." No doubt the fans of this popular show are rolling their eyes and laughing at the same time as using a “tradition” as an excuse is so archaic. After all, the world is connected with technology and people can watch it live online. Perhaps that is why PBS is slowly being ignored by viewers as it refuses to be part of the world today, yet still expects people to open their wallets to donate.