Big ratings gains for PBS hits ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Sherlock’

Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith in PBS’ hit drama “Downton Abbey.”
Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith in PBS’ hit drama “Downton Abbey.”
(Nick Briggs / PBS )

PBS has become a Sunday night ratings force with “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock.”

The most recent seasons of the British dramas were their highest-rated yet, according to final numbers released Wednesday by PBS outlet WGBH-TV.

Season 4 of “Downton” -- detailing the life of a fictional aristocratic family and its servants a century ago -- averaged 13.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen -- up 15% compared with the previous season.

VIDEO: Interviews with the women of ‘Downton Abbey’


Meanwhile, the third season of “Sherlock” -- a modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle -- averaged 6.6 million, for a whopping 50% gain compared with Season 2.

“Downton” has been renewed for Season 5 via its U.K. maker, ITV, and will presumably re-appear in the U.S. early in 2015. As for “Sherlock,” the creators have promised more episodes, although the details haven’t been officially announced yet.

What do you think of “Downton” and “Sherlock”?



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