PBS to Air DOWNTON ABBEY Season 4 Concurrently with U.K.?
Downton Abbey, ITV, PBS
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame spoke about the possibility of PBS airing the fourth season of the highly popular historic drama in the U.S. at the same time it airs in the U.K.
Over the course of Season 3, U.S. viewers have complained about the long time lag between broadcasts between the two countries. During that delay, critical spoilers have leaked on-line and in the press which to many, have affected their enjoyment of the series.
Commented Neame, "Well, I think it's been a very interesting test case in terms of spoilers. It's a British show but it's so successful in America and of course it is actually, technically speaking, a U.S.-U.K. co-production. But for a show that is this big in both countries, and the audience size is pretty similar across both countries, and it is completely-there are addicts of this show-the idea that in this day and age people have to wait four months before watching a show that has aired in another part of the world is clearly unrealistic."
The exec went on to clarify that he does not disapprove of PBS's decision to hold the broadcast of Season 3 until January. "...they have very, very tough competition and by airing in January, as you may have observed from the ratings... in terms of just regular Sunday night viewing, I think the only network show that beats us is The Good Wife," he explained. "Now that means PBS is massively punching above its weight to beat all the networks and if you were to go in September like it does in England, then you probably would have much stiffer competition against the networks. So I think they're being sensible and pragmatic in their programming."
Photo courtesy of ITV