Downton Abbey Sold Worldwide
Downton Abbey is set to be shown in over 100 countries. The ITV1 period drama was been a huge hit with British viewers – commanding an audience of up to 11 million people, and is now proving popular internationally, with it already becoming the US Masterpiece channel’s highest-rated show in years. Other countries which have signed up to screen the show include Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and Albania.
The show – set in a country house before World War I and charting the lives of a wealthy family battling to protect their inheritance from a distant relative – picked up the award for Best Drama Series at the UK Broadcasting Press Guild Awards last month. The show’s writer, Julian Fellowes, also picked up the award for Best Writer. The show’s all-star cast includes Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery. A second eight-part ITV1 series has been scheduled for autumn, with ex-Emmerdale beauty Amy Nuttall, Spooks star Iain Glen and The Tudors’ Maria Doyle Kennedy among five new faces joining the cast. It has also been confirmed that there will be a Christmas special, set to air over the festive period.
Laura Mackie, ITV’s director of drama, explained: “Julian has come up with a fantastic story that will give the audience the chance to enjoy the experience of the festive season at Downton Abbey. We’re delighted to have this as part of our Christmas schedule for December 2011.”