'Downton Abbey' Finale Sets U.K. Record for Consolidated Ratings Gain
A total of 10.9 million tuned in to watch the concluding episode of the long-running series.
Perhaps British viewers simply needed to watch it again to fully come to terms with it ending, but the Christmas Day finale of Downton Abbey added a record-breaking 4 million viewers to its ratings after a week of consolidated figures were taken into account.
As reported, 6.9 million tuned in to watch the concluding episode of the long-running and multi Emmy-winning drama on U.K. broadcaster ITV on Dec. 25, making it the most popular show of the day. However, consolidated figures — announced Monday — reached 10.9 million, setting a new record for British TV in terms of the increase from overnight to consolidated figures.
"The Christmas special of Downton Abbey has set a new record for consolidated gain, adding an unprecedented four million viewers," ITV said in highlighting the new U.K. record. British viewers have increasingly time-shifted viewing, with overnight ratings for many shows down, including on Christmas Day.
Although the finale saw many of the show's various loose ends — mostly revolving around Lady Edith's love life — tied up, there are still rumors of a Downton Abbey feature film.
Citing a "source," British tabloid The Sunday Mirror claimed on Sunday that the big-screen return would be set in 1935, around 10 years after the series, allowing time for Maggie Smith's character, the Dowager Countess, to have died. Smith previously said that she was glad the series was finishing, as her character was becoming too old for it to be believable.
"By the time we finished, she must have been been about 110," she told a BBC talk show host.