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Season 4 premiere of ‘Downton Abbey’ puts PBS on history charts

Michelle Dockery returns as Lady Mary after Matthew's death.
Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Downton Abbey” fever has hit the U.S. big time as the season four premiere on Sunday night has made history for the PBS network. As reported by Entertainment Weekly on Jan. 6, the beloved Masterpiece Classic series has brought in more than 10.2 million viewers. This is a significant 22 percent increase from last season’s premiere.

Even with all of the spoilers coming from the UK, since they are a few months ahead, American viewers were anxiously anticipating this fresh season without the beloved character of Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens). In fact, all of the buzz from the last few months might have ignited even more curiosity.

“As this captivating drama continues, our audiences have been eagerly awaiting this new season to see what’s next for these beloved characters,” said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. “I’m so pleased that millions of viewers have returned to ‘Downton Abbey’ on their local PBS stations for what has become a post-holiday tradition.”

What was so captivating about the first show of the new season? We saw Lady Mary transforming from her horrible grief following the death of her husband into a strong woman who is forced to take on the role of single mother and sole heir of Matthew’s estate.

Lady Edith is also jollying it up with her new publisher boyfriend in London. Will she get her heart broken yet another time? With O’Brien having left the Downton nest, Thomas seems to be back to his scheming, with a little help from new partner in crime, Edna. She is back as Lady Cora’s new housemaid.

It seems that life without Matthew goes on at Downton after all. It looks like this has been proven in the record-breaking numbers for PBS.

What did you think of the season four premiere episode of “Downton Abbey?”

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