WPSU celebrates return of 'Downton Abbey'

UNIVERSITY PARY, Pa. -- WPSU hosted an advance screening of "Downton Abbey" Season 3 at its studios Dec. 16. The event was free to the public who vied for 150 seats.

All tickets were reserved within three days of registration opening. The event included a station for guests to try on and be photographed wearing Edwardian era hats and a mid-afternoon low tea reception. Many of the guests attended the event in "Downton Abbey"-style costumes.

"Downton Abbey" -- the story of an English manor family adjusting to the changing world of post-war 1920s -- is part of the Masterpiece collection, the longest-running primetime drama on U.S. television. The "Downton Abbey" cast is currently on a publicity tour to promote Season 3, which premieres on PBS stations at 9 p.m. Jan. 6.

Since the launch of the new Masterpiece in 2008, the series has drawn a new generation of drama fans and at the same time increased the series’ core audiences. One of the highest-rated shows on the PBS schedule — and the one most often cited by members as the reason they donate to their local station — Masterpiece is watched by about 4 million viewers each week.

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Last Updated December 18, 2012