PBS and WGBH announced today that the premiere of Masterpiece Classic “Downton Abbey, Season 3” received an average audience of 7.9 million viewers for Sunday’s premiere. (Nielsen Fast National data, 5.1 household rating.) The third season premiere of the Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning series, a Carnival/Masterpiece co-production, quadrupled the average PBS primetime rating, and exceeded the average rating of the second season premiere of Downton Abbey by 96 percent (based on metered market averages).
Between 9:00-11:00 p.m., PBS was the second-most watched broadcast network on Sunday. Highest local-market ratings were at member stations KCTS-Seattle (9.6 rating, 17 share), WGBH-Boston (8.8/14), KLRU-Austin (8.1/13) and WNET-New York (8.0/12).
“‘Downton Abbey’ continues to enthrall audiences nationwide, and this season is especially riveting with the addition of Shirley MacLaine to the cast and the lively interaction between her and Maggie Smith,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. “I’m so pleased that audiences have returned to ‘Downton Abbey’ on their local stations to continue to enjoy some of the best drama on television.”
“The well-loved characters that made Season 2 the most-watched series in Masterpiece history continue to delight us,” said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “I’m thrilled to see so many viewers return to the Crawley family’s delicious drama and intrigue.”
You can now watch the season premiere online using the player below!