On-Air Highlights

A Return to Downton Abbey

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Nov 24, 2013 2:45 PM

A welcome treat for millions of viewers eagerly awaiting the debut of the new season of Downton Abbey on witf TV on January 5, 2014, Return to Downton Abbey savors fond memories from the past three seasons and offers a tantalizing taste of Season 4 from the series The New York Times called “an instant classic.” Hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon — a devoted fan of the series who especially admires the writing of fellow Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes — the program includes a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members, and video clips of favorite moments. Return to Downton Abbey premieres Sunday, December 1 at 9:00pm on witf. 

Downton Abbey, a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE Co-Production, has captivated viewers worldwide, each season building on the love affair with the series that began three years ago. Over the years audiences have witnessed the Crawley family gripped by wrenching social change, romantic intrigues and personal crises. Last season saw the family experience great joy and profound sadness, leaving viewers to ponder these and other questions:

  • How will Lady Mary cope now that Matthew is gone? Will she find love again?
  • How will cousin Rose affect the social order at the majestic English country estate?
  • What’s in store for Anna and Bates?
  • How does Branson adjust to his new role as agent of the estate?

Structured around three themes, Return to Downton Abbey explores “The Changing World of Downton Abbey,” “The Women of Downton Abbey,” and “Love and Other Relationships at Downton Abbey.” Cast members interviewed include Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Shirley MacLaine, Sophie McShera and Laura Carmichael. 

Interviews with creator and writer Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame provide an overview and context for the series and the upcoming season, which is sure to include more drama, rivalry, intrigue, jealousy, ambition and romance. Also interviewed is Rebecca Eaton, MASTERPIECE executive producer, who comments on the phenomenal success of Downton Abbey in America.

PBS special programming invites viewers 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 public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.

Contributing to witf helps everyone in your community benefit from award-winning news, programs and articles that open us up to exciting new ideas and worlds. During this special presentation, you will have an opportunity to make a donation to witf and get Season 4 of Downton Abbey. Donate online now!


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