‘Downton Abbey’ scores highest ratings ever for Season 4 premiere


Big ratings for “Downton.” (PBS)

The ratings are in — and “Downton Abbey” is still a hit.

About 10.2 million people tuned in for Sunday’s (depressing) Season 4 opener to see what happened after the death of Matthew Crawley. That breaks the show’s own records, and officially makes it the highest-rated drama premiere in PBS history.

In other words, while lots of viewers are still mad about Dan Stevens walking off the show, turns out that was great news for PBS — there’s nothing like a good cliffhanger.

Sunday’s audience was significantly larger than the one that tuned in for last season’s premiere (8 million viewers), and shows why PBS is in no hurry to show the drama at the same time it airs in the UK.

Recap:  Season 4 begins, and it’s a bummer

Review: In season 4, ‘Downton Abbey’ tries to stick to its knitting

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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Emily Yahr | January 6