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9.9 Million Viewers for ‘Downton Abbey’ Season Opener

Final Season of PBS Mainstay Opens on a Solid Note

The sixth – and final — season of critically acclaimed drama “Downton Abbey” on MASTERPIECE drew an average audience of 9.9 million viewers (with a 6.2 household ratings) from 9-10:15 p.m. on Sunday (based on the Live + Same Day data). Comparably, this was almost equal to the 10.1 million viewers who turned into the fifth season opener and it resulted in a second place finish for PBS for the evening (behind “Sunday Night Football” on NBC).

“It’s no surprise that the final season premiere of ‘Downton Abbey’ had such a large audience,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “Since ‘Downton Abbey’ premiered six years ago, it’s been the show’s loyal fans who have made this show into a global phenomenon. ‘Downton Abbey’ has been event viewing for each and every one of its seasons, and we’re thrilled that audiences are coming together to help give the show the send-off it deserves. Thanks also to MASTERPIECE, Carnival Films and our member stations, who are helping us make the last season of ‘Downton Abbey’ the biggest and best yet.”

\Socially, and also according to Nielsen, a Twitter TV audience of 1.4 million people saw more than 47,000 tweets during the premiere evening, generating a total of 6.1 million impressions and making it the No. 1 primetime series episode, ranked by Unique Audience. PBS and MASTERPIECE insiders will continue to host live discussions during each broadcast in this concluding season.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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