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'Downton Abbey' season finale draws crowd for PBS

February 23, 2012 | 11:23 am

Downton Abbey

"Downton Abbey" keeps expanding.

The PBS hit about the decline of the British aristocracy circa 1912 wrapped up its second season with a two-hour finale Sunday that drew 5.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

That was up 28% over last month's season premiere and gave PBS its best numbers since the premiere of Ken Burns' "National Parks" series in 2009.

Overall, season 2 of "Downton" more than doubled PBS' typical prime-time average. And it drew a much younger audience: women aged 18 to 34 rocketed 251% over the 2010-11 average for the "Masterpiece" banner under which the show airs.

" 'Downton Abbey' has become a cultural phenomenon," Rebecca Eaton, the executive producer for "Masterpiece" at Boston station WGBH-TV, said in a statement.

What did you think of the season?


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-- Scott Collins

Photo: Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery in "Downton Abbey." The show's second season drew big numbers for PBS. Credit: Associated Press