Even on a night when it was up against the final night of the Olympics on NBC — not to mention Sunday night ratings powerhouse "The Walking Dead" on AMC — PBS’s "Downton Abbey" wrapped up its fourth season Sunday night by delivering its best-ever numbers for a season finale.
Deadline.com reports: "An average of 8.5 million viewers tuned in for ‘Downton Abbey‘s’ fourth season finale last night. That’s a personal finale best for the period drama on PBS. The Season 3 finale drew 8.2 million viewers on February 17 last year, a 50% surge from the Season 2 ender in 2012."
The number didn’t match the turnout for the fourth-season opener Jan. 5, when 10.2 million people tuned in, the piece notes. But even before the high-rated fourth season, "Downton Abbey" had established itself as the highest-rated drama in PBS history.
Sunday’s "Walking Dead" on AMC reportedly drew 13.1 million total viewers, while the Olympics Closing Ceremony averaged 15.3 million.
Season five of "Downton Abbey" is set to premiere next January.
The Deadline.com report adds: "Earlier this month, ‘Downton’ celebrated its third consecutive year as The Show That Did The Best Against The Super Bowl. An estimated 111.5 million viewers watched the Seattle Seahawks pulverize the Denver Broncos on Fox that Sunday, and 6.8 million viewers opted instead to watch PBS’s period drama — up 3% compared to previous year’s 6.6 million Super Bowl Sunday broadcast of ‘Downton.’"