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Allyn Gibson January 17 2011 06:38 PM

Christmas Gets a Little More Crowded
While the BBC has yet to confirm a Doctor Who Christmas special for 2011, rival network ITV is bringing out their heavy hitter for Christmas Day with a Christmas special for Downton Abbey.

I've watched the first two parts of Downton on Masterpiece the last two weeks (which, I think, corresponds roughly to the first three episodes), and I've enjoyed it greatly. I have to admit, though, that when watching a British costume drama I half expect to see the TARDIS lurking unobtrusively in the background.

Would Downton air in the same timeslot as Who, or would it air a little later so the two series wouldn't go head-to-head? And who would win if they did go head-to-head? Honestly, much as I love Who, I'd put my money on Downton.

HappyDayRiot January 17 2011 06:43 PM

Re: Christmas Gets a Little More Crowded
Downton aired at 9pm on Sunday nights last year, so it's hugely unlikely it would be on at 6pm on Christmas Day.

23skidoo January 17 2011 07:57 PM

Re: Christmas Gets a Little More Crowded
I've never even heard of that show. I'm willing to bet the same is true for a lot of people. I tend to keep my eye on a lot of British shows, and I've seen no buzz at all for this. Maybe it's some dark horse - there are undoubtedly people in Britain who've never heard of Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad - but I think Doctor Who would take the win if they went head to head. Especially if they draw another big-name guest star or two.

Is Downton Alley the type of show that would air at 6 PM on Christmas?


Allyn Gibson January 17 2011 08:04 PM

Re: Christmas Gets a Little More Crowded
Downton is a period drama by the writer of Gosford Park. It's an Upstairs/Downstairs for a new generation.

It debuted with 7.7 million viewers, and by the end of its run it pulled in 10.1 million. It did have a strong lead-in with X-Factor. It's received some decent buzz.

Its debut on Masterpiece last week pulled in 6.6 million viewers.

VDCNI January 17 2011 08:32 PM

Re: Christmas Gets a Little More Crowded
Downtown was probably the biggest hit of the year on British TV - perfect Sunday night viewing & hugely expensive to make.

However that link only says it will be a Christmas special, not that it will be on Christmas Day - lots of shows have Christmas specials in the UK but they are on over the Christmas period rather than specifically on Christmas Day.

I'd be really surprised if ITV wasted it on Christmas Day where they usually don't make a huge effort as hardly anyone wants to advertise - just enough to not let the BBC win too easily is their usual attitude.

Even if it was going to be on Christmas Day it will almost certainly be at 9pm which is its usual slot.

Captaindemotion January 17 2011 08:44 PM

Re: Christmas Gets a Little More Crowded
^ The only one of its own big shows which ITV airs on Christmas Day is Coronation Street. And even then, they tend to make sure it doesn't clash with Dr Who. I don't think it's so much 'fear' as perhaps a bit of professional courtesy and trying not to create too much grief in households all over the country!

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