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Life without ‘Downton Abbey’


Fans of “Downton Abbey” can expect a number of happy endings and sentimental moments when it signs off this Sunday after six seasons on PBS. I won’t give away any of the details about the final chapter of this addictive soapy period piece, which already ended its run in the U.K. on Christmas Day. It’s been the most-talked about program on PBS since the Ken Burns documentary miniseries “The Civil War” in 1990. I don’t necessarily need to sing the show’s praises, but this cultural institution boosted the overall ratings for PBS, brought in increased donations, racked up 12 Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes, sparked viewing parties across the country, and turned PBS into an entertainment brand.

I’m just sayin’.

Yet even with all the accolades and ratings it’s brought PBS, what I find refreshing, and unusual, is that the network is resisting the temptation of trying to clone its success with a spin-off of some kind.

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