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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Best Miniseries of 2011 Returns: Downton Abbey Season 2

 

Airs Sundays, January 8 through February 19 at 8pm on WTVP-HD

 

 View the complete broadcast schedule.

 

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

 

Downton Abbey Season 2 cast photo

Winner of six Primetime Emmy® Awards

 

One of the most phenomenally popular series in MASTERPIECE history is back for an exciting second season: Downton Abbey Season 2 resumes its story of love and intrigue at an English country estate, now mobilized for the trauma of war. With a returning cast including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, and many more, Downton Abbey Season 2 airs over seven weeks from Sunday, January 8 through February 19, 2012, at 8pm on WTVP-HD.

Downton Abbey, produced by Carnival Films and co-produced by MASTERPIECE, was recently honored in the US with an impressive six Primetime Emmy® awards, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, plus awards for Supporting Actress Dame Maggie Smith, Writer Julian Fellowes, and nods for Directing, Cinematography, and Costumes.

American critics raved, calling Downton Abbey “an instant classic” (New York Times), “compulsively watchable from the get-go” (Variety), “impossible to resist” (Wall Street Journal), “addictive” (People Magazine), “the best Abbey since Abbey Road” (Entertainment Weekly), and “a quintessential Masterpiece Classic” (TV Guide).

“MASTERPIECE viewers took Downton Abbey to heart and they won’t be disappointed with season two,” says MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. “The cast we love is back and screenwriter Julian Fellowes is in top form. No one can equal him at breathing life into a world that vanished almost a century ago.”

“We were absolutely thrilled by the enthusiastic response of MASTERPIECE viewers to Downton Abbey,” says Gareth Neame, Executive Producer of Downton Abbey. “Its success is a testament to the wonderful storytelling, acting and production values of the show.”

About thirteen million MASTERPIECE viewers tuned into the first season including one million who streamed it online—spellbound as Lord Grantham (Bonneville), the father of three daughters and no sons, welcomed an unexpected new heir, his handsome, marriageable, but proudly middle-class distant cousin, Matthew Crawley (Stevens).

The inevitable courtship between Matthew and Lord Grantham’s eldest daughter, Mary (Dockery), was as bewitching as it was unresolved. Then there was Lady Grantham (McGovern), the mistress of Downton who reacted with impressive cool when social Armageddon threatened to bring down the family. Of equal interest were the members of the downstairs staff, with their own romances and schemes, including the most scheming of them all, Lady Grantham’s Machiavellian maid, Miss O’Brien (Finneran).

Last season opened with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, which had dire consequences for Downton Abbey. The new season picks up in the middle of another disaster, World War I, which affected every aspect of life in England, accelerating the social change that was already transforming an age-old system of class and privilege.

The second season promises to be as satisfying as the first, with thwarted and rekindled romances, forgotten and fresh scandals, and enough new plot twists to weave a tapestry with Lord Grantham’s family crest.

 

 

 

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For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org

 


 

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