Downton Abbey premiere spikes PBS ratings

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The Masterpiece Classic Season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey drew nearly 8 million viewers, a 5.1 household rating, almost doubling those numbers for the first episode of Season 2, according to PBS and Nielsen. The 7.9 million fans just about quadrupled PBS’s average primetime rating. From 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, PBS was the second-most watched network, behind only CBS. Local numbers were also strong: Seattle’s KCTS saw a 9.5; WGBH in Boston, 8.7; KLRU in Austin, Texas, 8.0; and New York’s WNET, 8.0.

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