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.