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U.S. fans of Downton Abbey will get a chance to visit the sets and revisit some of their favorite characters in the Crawley household — both upstairs and downstairs — starting next month.
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, which launched in Singapore this summer, is coming to the U.S. on a multi-city tour, starting with New York.
NBCUniversal’s NBCUniversal International Studios said Thursday that the immersive exhibit about the multiple-award-winning Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production, which has been seen in more than 250 territories and ended in 2015, would make its New York debut on Nov. 18.
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition wants to “connect fans with their favorite characters, costumes, locations and historic events of the era, as well as showcase never-before-seen footage,” the company said.
“Debuting in 2010 and now seen in over 250 territories, Downton Abbey quickly became a global phenomenon, especially in the U.S. where the series established an incredibly loyal and avid fan base,” said Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Studios. “Downton Abbey: The Exhibition continues this extraordinary legacy and gives viewers an exclusive invitation inside the series’ beloved characters, storylines and sets.”
Earlier this year, Edelstein had told THR where the exhibit could go from Singapore: “One of the things we have learned about Downton Abbey is that selling Britishness to British people is not as interesting as bringing the British experience to Americans. PBS normally does not get 12 million viewers on a Sunday night, but this show managed to strike a chord in America that caught everybody by surprise. And no British drama has really done it since, so we feel like America is really the big opportunity.”
After a limited engagement in midtown Manhattan, the multi-million-dollar exhibition will travel throughout the U.S., with additional cities to be announced. Tickets are available at www.downtonexhibition.com. Prices vary, with adult tickets starting at $30 and children’s tickets starting at $15.
“Visitors will be transported on an incredible journey through the grand home of Downton Abbey as the exhibition peers into the world of the Crawleys and those that served them below stairs,” the company said. “From Mrs. Patmore’s hectic kitchen and the gossip-fuelled servants’ quarters to the family’s glamorous dining room and Lady Mary’s bedroom, fans will get the chance to walk through some of the series’ most recognizable and beloved sets. Visitors will even come up close to over 50 of the show’s official costumes worn by their favorite actors, including Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith.”
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, for which Imagine Exhibitions is the entertainment conglomerate’s partner, will also provide a look at key aspects of the post-Edwardian period, in which the drama is set, and insight into historic events and British society, culture and fashion.
“This is a unique opportunity to step into Downton Abbey — to wander through the sumptuous rooms the family inhabit, the kitchen and servants’ quarters below stairs, and to get right up close to many of the iconic costumes and props,” said Gareth Neame, executive producer of the series and managing director of Carnival Films. “The exhibition will appeal both to avid fans — well acquainted with the show — as well as those who are only just embarking on the Downton journey and want to see what the noise was all about.”
It may also help fans of the series with the wait for a likely Downton Abbey movie. Edelstein earlier this year said the film remains in the planning stages, with production likely to begin in 2018. “There’s a movie in the works. It’s been in the works for some time,” he said in June. “We are working on getting the script right, and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the [cast] together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”
Downton Abbey aired for six seasons on Masterpiece on PBS in the U.S. and reached more than 26 million viewers in its final season, making it the highest-rated PBS drama series of all time. With 15 wins and 69 nominations, it is the most nominated non-U.S. show in the history of the Emmys.
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