Sunday’s Season 4 premiere of “Downton Abbey” turned in the highest-rated drama debut in PBS history.
An average audience of 10.2 million viewers tuned in for the opener, which boasted a 6.2 household rating – a 22 percent improvement from last year. Season 3’s debut opened to a 5.1 rating and 7.9 million viewers.
According to Nielsen SocialGuide, a Twitter TV audience of 2.9 million people sent 97,000 tweets during the premiere evening, generating a total of 15.2 million impressions and making it the No. 2 telecast total day, excluding sporting events.
Season 4 will be available for free streaming on PBS station websites, the PBS Video Portal and PBS’ apps on Xbox, Roku and Apple TV for a limited time after each national broadcast. There have been more than 2.3 million streams of previews and clips across all PBS platforms leading up to Sunday’s premiere, according to Google analytics.
“As this captivating drama continues, our audiences have been eagerly awaiting this new season to see what’s next for these beloved characters,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “I’m so pleased that millions of viewers have returned to ‘Downton Abbey’ on their local PBS stations for what has become a post-holiday tradition.”
“Downton Abbey” is a Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production.