Dear PBS And ITV
Thank you for bringing Downton Abbey into our lives. The fifth season premieres in the US on January 4th, 2015. The lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants have become part of our general cultural lexicon, in addition to being must see TV.
However, it is still 5 months in between the premiere in the UK and the premiere in the US. I am writing to tell you why Downton Abbey should air on both sides of the pond at the same time:
- All important ratings. I have a feeling that PBS is slightly afraid to complete with the major networks in the US who will premiere new shows and bring back current shows in the fall. It’s easier to have a mid-season premiere when the major networks have had their fun in the fall. To be honest, I don’t think they have anything to worry about. Even if PBS aired Downton at 3am on a Tuesday morning, the fans would still find a way to watch it.
- Spoilers. We live in an internet age spoilers are everywhere. Two examples of this:
- When Sybil died in season 3, I was home when the episode had it’s initial run in the UK. The fans on twitter were not shy about sharing their grief and the news about the loss of a beloved character.
- In the spring, when Mr. Selfridge was nearly done in completing the second season, one of the British newspapers spoiled the end of the series in regards to Agnes’s romantic choices. I was not happy.
- The actors and producers only have to do press once. Instead of doing press twice ( the UK in the fall and the US in December), they only have to do it once. I’m sure they enjoy traveling and meeting overseas fans (I know I would in their shoes), but as fun as traveling is, it is exhausting.
I’m aware that ITV is a commercial cable channel and PBS is a public channel that relies on donations to survive. There are issues when it comes to rights and editing, I understand that. It’s not like BBC who has their own American affiliate channel and can air Dr. Who on both sides of the pond at the same time.
That being said, I believe that it would help, not hurt Downton Abbey if it were to air on both sides of the pond at the same time.
A Downton Abbey Fan