It may have been a blowout at the Super Bowl, but the big game didn't knock Downton Abbey out of the competition. The Masterpiece drama had 6.8 million viewers on Sunday, Feb. 2, according to PBS.
The ratings were up 3 percent compared to last year. This is the third year Downton Abbey has gone up against the Super Bowl and clocked in as the No. 2 program at 9 p.m. Its competition on major broadcast networks: Little Fockers on NBC had a 0.6 rating and 2.4 million viewers, a Shark Tank rerun on ABC had 0.6 rating and 2.2 million viewers and a Mentalist rerun on CBS had a 0.4 rating and 3 million viewers.
The 2014 Super Bowl had 111.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV telecast ever.
Downton Abbey season four premiered in the US to record ratings for PBS and brought in more than 10 million viewers. The crossover hit drama has already been renewed for a fifth season that will premiere in the UK in fall 2014 and likely make its way to the US in January 2015. There was talk that the fifth season could be the last for the series, but executive producer Gareth Neame shot down speculation.
"I can confirm that there are no plans to end the show after the fifth series," Neame said in a statement released to E! News in January. "ITV commission each series on a year-by-year basis. In an interview given to The Wall Street Journal (published December 31, 2013), Julian Fellowes stated that the show would not go on forever (inevitable of course and something both he and I have been on the record for previously). For now ITV have commissioned series five and that is what we are busy preparing."
If there is a sixth season, it could be the last. Series creator Julian Fellowes told Huffington Post Canada that he doesn't want to juggle two shows.
"Unlike America, in England we have to wait until the season finishes airs before we receive a pick-up; we're not renewed multiple years in advance. We never want to jinx anything," he said. "That's good because it keeps everyone at the top of their game. If there is a sixth season, it may be our last. I'm about to start on a new US drama called The Gilded Age for NBC Universal. And the last thing I want is to juggle two shows."