“Downton Abbey” ended its six-season run Sunday on PBS with strong, but not record-breaking ratings.
The upstairs-downstairs British period drama, which became the pubcaster’s most popular program of all time, averaged 9.6 million viewers, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen. That makes it the fourth largest audience to date for the series, behind only the 10.2 million for its season four premiere, the 10.1 million for its season five premiere and the 9.9 million it attracted in January as it kicked off its final season.
Sunday’s audience was the largest ever for a season finale, eclipsing the 8.4 million last year. On Sunday during its time period, PBS outdrew all of the broadcast networks.
In social media, a Twitter audience of 1.53 million saw roughly 66,000 tweets on Sunday night. This made it slightly more popular than the show’s sixth-season finale in January (Twitter audience of 1.4 million seeing 47,000 tweets).
The series finale, which saw many happy endings for the beloved residents of Downton, was highlighted by a wedding, a birth and other surprises. Executive producer Julian Fellowes spoke with Variety about the show’s finale themes, as well as an update on the movie and the possibility of a spinoff.