You down with Downton?

It was with mixed feelings that I read a friend’s Facebook post: “What channel do I go to for Downton Abbey?”

I’m happy she had picked up on the program that’s getting PBS so much attention, but surprised she seemed to have no idea where to turn for public television.

Similar feelings came to me when we had a neighbor over to watch Downton and she suggested we record a little before watching so “we can skip the commercials.” Happy to tell her there wouldn’t be commercial interruption, but left scratching my head that she wouldn’t already know that. I thought that, even if people knew nothing else about PBS, they knew there wouldn’t be commercials.

So it is great to see PBS programming reach a wider public consciousness. I’ve heard Downton mentioned in late night monologues and Dame Maggie Smith just scored a Golden Globe for her performance as the Dowager Countess (I love the word dowager and up to this point had only heard it to describe Margaret Dumont in Marx Brothers films).

I’m even glad that a lot of younger people have become Downtown fans, but again it’s a mixed blessing for my hope of adding more PBS viewers– they’ve already watched all of season three downloaded illegally to their laptops.

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