Downton coverCosmos.jpg

How hot is "Downton Abbey" right now for PBS? It has made the cover of mainstream magazine TV Guide.

How rare is a PBS program on the cover of TV Guide? Very.

According to former Variety reporter Michael Schneider, whom I believe left to become the magazine's Los Angeles bureau chief just so he could help me with this blog post, the "Downton Abbey" cover (headed to newstands and dated Feb. 6) is the first of a PBS primetime show since this "Cosmos" cover in 1980. 

Though programs such as "Sesame Street" and "Barney" have gotten cover attention, Schneider believes that "Downton" is only the third primetime PBS cover on the magazine ever.

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