PBS will give fans of the “Downton Abbey” Crawley clan free tea and biscuits from a mobile tea truck tooling around New York City next week, in a marketing stunt ahead of the Jan. 5 U.S. premiere of season 4.
The truck will be parked at a different Manhattan location each day Monday through Friday. Costumed servers will dole out free tea and cookies to fans and let them take photos against the backdrop of Highclere Castle.
The cast of the hit Brit series — the most-watched drama in PBS history — also will be in Gotham next week for media appearances, a VIP screening and a Dec. 12 standing-room-only fan event at The TimesCenter that will include a panel discussion with exec producers Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame.
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“Downton” TV appearances are set to include: “Good Morning America” and “The View” on Tuesday, Dec. 10; Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and Fellowes on “Charlie Rose,” also on Tuesday; and Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham) on “The Chew” Thursday.
The “Downton” tea truck will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day (except Thursday, when tea will be served noon to 8 p.m.), starting at East 14th St. at University Place on Monday. PBS’s media-buying agency, The Media Kitchen, came up with the concept and marketing firm Awestruck is producing the event.
A rep for the pubcaster said New York will be the only market for the “Downton” tea truck, as PBS aims to hit crowds of tourists and holiday shoppers.
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Here’s the full schedule for the tea truck:
- Monday, Dec. 9: East 14th St. at University Place (southwest corner)
- Tuesday, Dec. 10: 6th Ave. between 40th and 41st streets
- Wednesday, Dec. 11: 50th St. between 6th and 7th avenues (north side)
- Thursday, Dec. 12: The New York Times TimesCenter, 41st St. between 7th and 8th avenues
- Friday, Dec. 13: Broadway between 66th and 67th streets (west side)