The period drama "Downton Abbey" continues to be a viewer magnet for PBS. The New York Times’ Media Decoder reports that the season three finale drew 8.2 million viewers, or 50% more than the finale of the second season.
The audience surpassed the third-season premiere in January, which drew 7.9 million viewers, at that time a 20-year record for PBS, the story says.
PBS hopes the popularity of "Downton," a historical drama about an aristocratic family and its staff, will help draw new viewers to other “Masterpiece” series and public television overall, the piece adds.
Despite the big ratings for the season finale, AMC’s "The Walking Dead" drew more viewers on Sunday night, with about 11 million people tuning in, the story says.
The piece notes that PBS delayed the U.S. premiere of the series, which aired in the U.K. in the fall. The report adds: “The strong ratings for the third season in the United States are likely to persuade PBS to enforce a similar delay for Season 4, which is expected to have its premiere overseas this year.”