DOWNTON ABBEY's Season 4 UK Debut is Ratings Hit
DOWNTON ABBEY, ITV
Deadline reports that Sunday night's Season Four premiere of ITV's Downton Abbey in the UK was a ratings hit, delivering 9.5 million viewers and a 39.6% share. The long-awaited season launched with a 90-minute episode.
Viewership was up from last year's Season 3 debut which drew 8.6M viewers. At the time, the third season was PBS' highest-rated drama ever with a total of 24M viewers, a 7.7 average and an average season audience of 11.5M. The historical drama airs 9PM Sunday nights on ITV1 for seven more weeks followed by a special Christmas episode in December. The show will premiere on PBS in the U.S. on Janury 5th.
On the Season 4 of the historical drama, Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award-winner Paul Giamatti (John Adams, Sideways, Barney's Version, Cinderella Man) will join the cast portraying Cora's maverick, playboy brother Harold, starring alongside the iconic Shirley MacLaine and the regular cast members.
Managing Director Carnival Films and Executive Producer Gareth Neame says: "Downton Abbey has seen many great characters visit the house over the years and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast of Downton Abbey in Season 4. We hope audiences will be as excited about them as we are."
Giamatti joins new cast members, including:
Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys who visits the family as a guest for a house party
Nigel Harman as Green, a valet
Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the Dowager
Joanna David in a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil
Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as a guest who sings in the house
Gary Carr as a jazz singer named Jack Ross
Downton Abbey is a Carnival/Masterpiece Co-production. It is written and created by Julian Fellowes. Gareth Neame and Julian Fellowes are Executive Producers.