'Downton Abbey' hunts down 10.1 million viewers in season 5 premiere

'Downton Abbey' ratings stay strong in season 5 rollout

"Downton Abbey" may be entering its fifth season, but based on the ratings there is little evidence viewers have tired of the Crawley clan. 

An average of 10.1-million total viewers tuned in to the season premiere on Sunday on PBS, essentially flat with last season's rollout with 10.2 million.

"Downton," created by writer-producer Julian Fellowes, is the biggest hit series in the 44-year history of PBS.

The network's January rollouts of the show have become controversial among fans because the series originates on ITV in Britain during the preceding year, and the Internet is full of spoilers by the time the U.S. version rolls around.

However, PBS executives have consistently defended their scheduling plans.

This season is set in 1924, with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) beset by a love triangle.

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Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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