ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- About 9.9 million viewers tuned in for Sunday's Season 6 U.S. premiere of the 1920s-set drama Downton Abbey.
Starring Maggie Smith, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Penelope Wilton and Michelle Dockery, the show completed the broadcast of its sixth and final season in the United Kingdom on Dec. 25. The beloved series follows the lives of the wealthy Crawley family and the loyal servants who work for them at their English estate.
"It's no surprise that the final season premiere of Downton Abbey had such a large audience," Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming for America's PBS public-television network, said in a statement Tuesday.
"Since Downton Abbey premiered six years ago, it's been the show's loyal fans who have made this show into a global phenomenon. Downton Abbey has been event viewing for each and every one of its seasons, and we're thrilled that audiences are coming together to help give the show the send-off it deserves. Thanks also to Masterpiece, Carnival Films and our member stations, who are helping us make the last season of Downton Abbey the biggest and best yet."