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THR, The Independent

‘Downton Abbey’ Hits U.K. Ratings Mark — and Not a Good One

Sep 22, 2014  •  Post A Comment

“Downton Abbey” returned in the U.K. for its fifth season, drawing the lowest season debut audience since its first season premiered in 2010, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The fifth-season debut drew 8.4 million viewers to Britain’s ITV, compared with 7.7 million for its season-one premiere in 2010. The fifth season’s premiere audience was lower than the 9.5 million people who tuned in for the show’s fourth season premiere, as well as the 9 million who watched the show’s third-season start. The second season’s opener had 9.3 million viewers.

“The hit period drama is to feature a number of guest celebrity appearances this year, including Anna Chancellor, who last night starred as an aristocratic guest preying on young footman Jimmy Kent; Richard E Grant and George Clooney,” notes the U.K.’s Independent.

The report adds that creator Julian Fellowes “has yet to indicate when the drama may end. Hugh Bonneville, who stars as the Earl of Grantham, said earlier this month he thought the scriptwriter would ‘quit while he’s ahead.’”

The fifth season of the period drama will premiere in the U.S. on PBS on Jan. 4.

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