Prime delighted with success of Downton Abbey premiere

Prime Television’s hot new Edwardian drama series Downton Abbey proved to be as popular with New Zealand viewers on launch as it did with its British fans, resulting in record ratings for the free-to-air channel. 

Prime Channel Manager Kathy Wright said it appears the broad-appeal drama boasting romance, loyalty, deception and scandal, has quickly found a home in the hearts of Kiwi viewers with last night’s first episode firmly cementing Downton Abbey as the channel’s highest ever rating drama.

“There has been a lot of buzz around the series, culminating in a huge amount of activity on social networking sites over the past couple of weeks and we are delighted that the series has been received so well,” she said.

“Downton Abbey is indicative of Prime’s quality drama content and adds to our strong British portfolio which includes other viewer favourites such as Midsomer Murders and Doctor Who, along with entertaining factual content from industry stalwarts including Stephen Fry,  Rick Stein and Sir David Attenborough,” said Ms Wright.

Viewers who missed the first episode of this highly-acclaimed seven-part series will be able to watch a special encore screening tomorrow night, Thursday May 12, at 9.35pm. 

Upon its UK launch last year, Downton Abbey quickly became the most talked about drama series in years, achieving the highest audience of any series on UK television since 2007 (audience figures hitting 12.8 million). 

From the pen of Oscar®-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), Downton Abbey portrays the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and the servants who work for them, with a stellar cast led by critically-acclaimed actress Dame Maggie Smith and actor Hugh Bonneville.

Downton Abbey.  Tuesdays at 8.30pm only on Prime.

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