Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season III
The wildly popular Masterpiece series Downton Abbey, written and created by Julien Fellowes, premiers Season III on January 6, 2013. "The war is over, but intrigue, crisis, romance, and change still grip the beloved estate." With its all-star returning cast and Oscar-winning guest star Shirley MacLaine, there's even a countdown counter on the Masterpiece site. As of today there is 113 days, 9 hours and 53 minutes to go. The site continues:
Executive Producer Gareth Neame remarks, "What a rollercoaster it has been to be part of this truly global phenomenon. We couldn't be more thrilled by the way American critics and audiences have taken Downton to their hearts and I'm so excited to be getting the third season ready for everyone to see."
The press loved the second season, with USA Today marveling, "Lightning can strike twice." The Hollywood Reporter called the series "one of the great melodramas of the modern television age." And The Los Angeles Times styled it "big, beautifully acted, and romantic."
Viewers were no less passionate, with 17.1 million tuning in across the seven episodes, making Downton Abbey, Season 2 the most-watched Masterpiece series on record. It was also the most talked-about. "What sets Downton Abbey apart," wrote Reuters, "is the buzz the show is creating on new social media websites like Twitter and Facebook." And with today's multitude of viewing options, a younger audience is being seduced by Downton Abbey's sumptuously spread-out plot, notes Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton.
September 15, 2012 — "In the excellence of its writing, acting, and production, Downton Abbey arrives at a perfect time," says Eaton. "Long-form episodic drama is the ideal fit for the way people watch television today. With time-shifting, DVDs, and streaming, viewers have rediscovered the joys of luxuriating in a sweeping story."
"Masterpiece has been committed to superb long-form drama since the beginning," she adds. "We've never lost our audience, and now we're attracting new and younger viewers, too."
Get the character actor guides, cast video interviews, a conversation with the real Countess for the history of the inhabitants of Highclere Castle, synopses by episode and more all on the Masterpiece website.
BookBuffet has our own archival library of podcast interviews with both Rebecca Eaton and Julian Fellowes. "It's great to be a part of the Masterpiece family." says BookBuffet Executive Editor Paula Shackleton. BookBuffet partners with Masterpiece to service the book group side of their television dramas that are largely created from adapted classics, mysteries and new works like Downton.