Ratings: Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere Draws Record-Setting Audience

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Downton Abbey RatingsMatthew who?

Downton Abbey‘s gloomy Season 4 premiere on PBS proved a record-shattering affair, drawing an average (and series-best) 10.2 million viewers from 9-10 pm.

RELATED | Downton Abbey Renewed for Season 5

That marks a 22 percent increase over Downton‘s Season 3 opener (7.3 million) and ranks as PBS’ highest-rated drama premiere in history.

TVLine readers gave the two-hour episode an average “B” grade.

Comments (30)

  • America loves wigs and accents!

    Comment by LOL – January 6, 2014 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Actually, America just wants good TV without having to pay for it. SUCK IT CABLE!

      Comment by Bad Samaritan – January 7, 2014 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just started season 1. How long is the wait between BBC and American viewing?

    Comment by Rebecca – January 6, 2014 01:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The last couple of series have aired in the UK beginning in September and in the US in January.

      Comment by Samantha – January 6, 2014 01:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It is about a little less than a year between seasons as they are shown here in the US. There’s 9 episodes per season so far, except for season one with only 7 episodes.

      Comment by karenh43 – January 6, 2014 01:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s only 5 months. It’s not that bad. And it’s actually ITV not BBC.

      Happy to see people are even more interested in the show despite DS departure.

      Comment by Leslie – January 6, 2014 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The final season 4 episode aired on Christmas night on the UK. It was about 6½ weeks between episode 8 on November 10 (they do it in 9 there) and the last one.

      Comment by Larc – January 7, 2014 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s amazing it hit these kinds of numbers considering the many, many, many, people who have already ‘obtained’ the season. Good for them.

    Comment by Et al – January 6, 2014 02:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I always see the UK season and then watch again when PBS airs them. PBS does some combining. We actually saw UK episodes 1 and 2 on Sunday.

      Comment by Larc – January 7, 2014 06:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I saw all the season 4
    it was disaster
    after Homeland now downton :(

    Comment by mani – January 6, 2014 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’ve just started watching Homeland (library rentals). Just started Season 2. Love it so far. What did your comment “after Homeland now downton” mean?

      Comment by sara – January 6, 2014 02:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Sadly fellow Sara, we all loved it in season 2. If you’re part of the majority, prepare to be disappointed with the 3rd

        Comment by Sara – January 6, 2014 05:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Warning: This comment may have spoilers (So, skip it if you haven’t watched S04E01 yet).

      The show remains incredible. If you enjoyed the previous seasons, then you’ll love the new bunch of episodes. It’s a huge ensamble and even without Matthew and O’Brien, I’m sure everyone still has a dozen characters to love (or love to hate)… and all the new characters are fascinating to watch. It’s not going downhill like Homeland.

      Comment by Colombo – January 6, 2014 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not a disaster at all. It’s hard to resist not discussing the reasons you’re wrong, but that’d involve spoilers. I would not tell someone “if you don’t like it, don’t watch” because things are never so black and white about a tv show, but coming onto a show’s season premiere ep article and hating on the whole season just smacks of trolling. Talk about the episode at hand in concrete terms and what you liked or didn’t. Generally discussing the whole season that many folks haven’t seen and doing it without a way to rebut (while brining up a series not everybody who watches Downton would’ve seen) is pointless.

      Comment by scooby – January 6, 2014 09:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish I had a time machine so I could go back to Season One and see the producers’ faces when they learned the type of numbers they’d be pulling in by Season Four. Incredible.

    Comment by Leigh – January 6, 2014 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • DA is an incredible show…so far no complaints :) Hoping they pep up Anna and Bates storyline; and when are Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes going to “hook up” they’d be cute to watch!! Many people in the older generation’s have great love affairs late in life!!!

    Comment by Belle – January 6, 2014 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Who cares

    Comment by Nick – January 6, 2014 02:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • People with IQ’s high enough to be bored by reality shows, football, zombies and low, vulgar sitcoms. How did you find your way to this site?

      Comment by Parker – January 6, 2014 03:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You’re the one who clicked on the link, genius… *and* felt it was worth commenting on.

      Comment by Simon Jester – January 7, 2014 06:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 10.2 Million viewers. That’s who cares!!!

      Comment by Margaret – January 7, 2014 03:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was a two hour premiere, why only report from 9 to 10 pm?

    Comment by Lumpawarrump – January 6, 2014 03:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • PBS is gonna be crowing about the biggest number for the premiere episode’s first hour. I bet most shows like this are gonna have a drop in hour 2 just because people gotta go to work and may not feel like staying up til 11pm on a Sunday. I can’t remember how long the first ep was in the UK but I’m reasonably sure eps 1 and 2 were combined again here so technically the premiere was that first UK hour shown in the US.

      Comment by scooby – January 6, 2014 10:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Maybe on the east coast, but in the other time zones it comes on at 8 PM. and goes until 10.

        Comment by Parker – January 7, 2014 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve got friends who love it and I did try to give it a go but it just didn’t grab me. Seemed to be a lot of unpleasant, and manipulative people. Maybe if I’d started from the first year.

    Comment by LSR – January 6, 2014 06:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah that’s pretty much gonna screw you up, esp. when S1 is the strongest season. Why would you start a new show in the middle when there are so few eps? Unpleasant, manipulative people? Rather a broad stroke that misses a lot. Many people in the show aren’t unpleasant or manipulative.

      Comment by scooby – January 6, 2014 09:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Ok, we get it. You’re a Downton Abbey superfan. Simmer down now!

        Comment by Christian – January 7, 2014 09:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Even the worst episode of Downton ( and I have yet to come across a bad one ) is still EONS better than anything airing now.

    Comment by JL – January 7, 2014 05:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What happened to NCIS Los Angeles? Did it move too another nite or channel?

    Comment by Sandra Slack – January 7, 2014 09:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Unfortunately, Downton Abbey took a HUGE fall in my eyes!
    You kill off the TWO most interesting people of the show!!!
    What do you expect. It is no longer a Classic to me!
    How boring, Season 4, Episode 1 was.

    Comment by Dianne – January 7, 2014 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t explain my fascination to this show, like seeing how things were in those days. How they actually lived, interesting.

    Comment by E.F. Coleman – January 9, 2014 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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