Sunday’s premiere of “Downton Abbey, The Final Season” on MASTERPIECE drew an average audience of 9.9 million viewers (Nielsen Live+Same Day Fast National data, 6.2 household rating). “Downton Abbey,” a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE co-production, remains the top PBS drama of all time.
The sixth season premiere of the Emmy®, Golden Globe®, SAG Award®, Producers Guild® and BAFTA®-winning series drew an audience nearly even with that of the Season 5 premiere (10.1 million viewers), and the episode’s 6.2 household rating ties it with the Season 4 premiere as the highest-rated episode to date. The episode also drew the biggest ever household audience for “Downton Abbey” with 7.3 million U.S. households tuning in (all based on Nielsen Live+Same Day Fast National data).
Viewership for the episode, which began at 9:00 p.m. ET, remained solid throughout the episode’s one-hour, 15-minute duration. Between 9:30-10:15 p.m., PBS was the second most-watched network on Sunday, behind NBC (based on weighted metered market program averages).
“It’s no surprise that the final season premiere of ‘Downton Abbey’ had such a large audience,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “Since ‘Downton Abbey’ premiered six years ago, it’s been the show’s loyal fans who have made this show into a global phenomenon. ‘Downton Abbey’ has been event viewing for each and every one of its seasons, and we’re thrilled that audiences are coming together to help give the show the send-off it deserves. Thanks also to MASTERPIECE, Carnival Films and our member stations, who are helping us make the last season of ‘Downton Abbey’ the biggest and best yet.”