With the TCA 2014 press tour came the announcement Downton Abbey would continue to air in January for its U.S run. PBS President Paula A. Kerger revealed her reasoning to The Wrap. Downton begins airing in the U.K. in September, and then finishes with a Christmas-day special. By having Downton premiere in January, it provides the cast time to promote the show in both markets.
The Edwardian sudser also has less competition, since it commences after the heavy fall premiere season. Kerger also cited routine as a factor, since American audiences are already used to a yearly return in January.
Each season of Downton gains in the ratings, and is the channel’s highest rated show ever. Kerger concluded:
The great audience and the audience build over the three years I think argues pretty strongly to keep the January time frame.
Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 9 pm EST.
Photo credit: PBS