Call the Midwife scores 1.5 overnight rating for PBS

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The Sunday night premiere of Call the Midwife, PBS’s eagerly anticipated limited-run drama series from the BBC, earned a 1.5 rating in Nielsen overnights, according to PBS. That’s 50 percent above the usual 1.0 PBS overnights for 8 p.m. Sundays last season, but far less than Downton Abbey’s Season 2 premiere of 2.7.

A PBS spokesperson said the Midwife’s 1.5 figure is expected to be higher in full national ratings, which also count DVR hits and within-week repeats.

In Britain, Call the Midwife earned bigger ratings than even Downton Abbey, which is now a mega-hit for Masterpiece.