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'Downton Abbey' premiere sets PBS ratings record

The lavish period drama drew 10.2 million viewers to PBS on Sunday night.
Posted By Kate Stanton   |   Jan. 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM   |   Comments

Jan. 6 (UPI) -- It seems Matthew Crawley's untimely demise did little to deter Downton Abbey fans from the series' fourth season premiere on PBS -- more than 10.2 million people tuned in Sunday to see Lady Mary cope with the death of her beloved.

Sunday night's opener marked the network's highest-rated drama premiere in its 50-year history, with viewership up 29 percent from last season.

"I'm delighted to see that the Crawley family's intrigue continues to beguile our viewers," Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said in a statement. "[Showrunner] Julian Fellowes has written every word of all four seasons of Downton, and I toss him a huge bouquet on behalf of his American fans."

[E! News, Los Angeles Times]

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