I’m a Downton Abbey fan. I don’t watch much television, but when I do, the British hit series Downton Abbey on PBS is top of the list.
I can’t say exactly why I like the show. Maybe it’s the excellent ensemble of actors. Maybe it’s the well-written scripts contrasting the upstairs British aristocracy of the early 1900s and their downstairs help staff. Maybe it’s all the turn-of-the-century British period stuff, showcasing the fine furnishings of the opulent estate home.
I’m not alone in my infatuation of Downton Abbey. Only in its second season in the U.S., it has already amassed a long list of Golden Globe and Emmy awards and nominations. And just yesterday, Carnival Films announced that Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine will join the Downton cast as the mother of Lady Grantham, who is ably played by Elizabeth McGovern.
Seventy-seven-year-old MacLaine will be matching wits and barbs with award-winning British actress, Maggie Smith, also 77, who plays the Dowager Countess and is simply terrific in the role.
The third season will air this fall in the U.K. and next year in the U.S., so we’ll have to wait our turn to see MacLaine and the new storylines, which I’m sure will not disappoint.
The series is set at the fictional Downton Abbey estate in North Yorkshire, England. According to Wikipedia, “Highclere Castle in Hampshire (shown above) was used for exterior shots of Downton Abbey and most of the interior filming. The servants’ living areas were constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios.”
At the heart of Downton Abbey is a great idea, a compelling story, strong creative ability, attention to detail, and fine execution to produce something that is appealing to a broad audience. All the key ingredients needed for a successful business if you ask me.
If you haven’t seen the show, I suggest you try it out. PBS airs it on Sunday nights, and it replays on Thursday nights — at least in my neck of the woods in the Washington, DC area.