PBS’ ‘Downton Abbey’ Scores a (Sort-of) Record

OK, it’s a bullshit public-relations stunt, but given that PBS can be sleepy about tooting its own horn a lot of the time, I give them credit for trying.

The pubcaster announced that Guinness World Records has named the Emmy-nominated miniseries “Downton Abbey” winner of the “highest critical review ratings for a TV show,” based on the website Metacritic.com.

Now, I’m honestly mystified how Guinness decided this, since Metacritic’s own list of all-time high scores places “Downton Abbey” in a tie for sixth. Even if you eliminate reviews of returning series — which you really should, since critics who like a show tend to self-select for later seasons — the program (or programme, if you prefer) still places a notch behind another fabulous multipart British period piece, “Bleak House,” and I’m pretty sure behind the overall average for “The Wire.”

Mostly, it makes Guinness look like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And it kind of makes you wonder if there’s a Guinness record for creative PR spin, with a big assist from Guinness.

Still, “Downton Abbey” deserves every accolade hurled its way, and PBS — which won 10 Emmys during the recent Creative Arts Awards, including a pair for “Abbey” — is doubtless hoping to add another as best movie or mini during the main event this Sunday.

Meanwhile, the second installment of “Downton Abbey” is due in January. And hey, according to Guinness, I just broke the record for being the most eager to see it.

 

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