On-Air Highlights

Revisit Downton Abbey

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Jul 24, 2013 11:54 AM
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The extraordinarily popular series Downton Abbey, created by Academy Award®-winning writer Julian Fellowes, tells the story of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them in their sumptuous Yorkshire estate. Filled with love and intrigue, Downton Abbey has been embraced by viewers and critics alike.  This fall witf will feature a reruns of Season 2 & 3 of Downton Abbey while we await the release of Season 4 this January. 

In the meantime, Join Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran and many more of the series’ most popular actors for Downton Abbey Revisited, a fond recollection of favorite moments from Seasons 1 and 2, plus interviews with the actors and creative team and rare behind-the-scenes footage. Hosted by Angela Lansbury (an unabashed “Downton Abbey” fan).

Interviews with creators Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame reveal the origins of the series and how they envisioned it as a combination of Edwardian-era tradition with modern multi-character storytelling. Hugh Bonneville talks about Robert, the Earl of Grantham’s relationship with the mother of all mothers, Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Dame Maggie Smith). Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton describes the interaction between Violet and new character Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine. Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, says that watching the two legends exchange slights was “like history being made.”

In addition to Froggatt, other interviews from below the stairs include Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore), Sophie McShera (Daisy) and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson). Belying her onscreen reputation as the devious O’Brien, Siobhan Finneran reveals that the cast is like a family and that the production has the camaraderie of a stage company.

Fashion plays a starring role in the series, with downstairs women revealing that they have “costume envy” and that Elizabeth McGovern wages a “battle with corsets.” The romances of “Downton Abbey” provide many of the series’ favorite moments, and the relationships between Cora and Robert, Bates and Anna and, of course, the star-crossed lovers Matthew and Mary, are discussed by the actors.

Enjoy Downton Abbey Revisited on witf August 4 at 6:30pm and August 11 at 8:00pm.  witf invites you to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and witf offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Make an investment in witf today to ensure quality programming continues on this vital community asset.

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