Follow Us on Twitter

Downton Abbey attracts 9.12 million viewers and 23,000+ Tweets

Downton Abbey

Story by Jack Foley

THE fourth season of Downton Abbey returned with over nine million viewers on Sunday evening (September 22, 2013), according to overnight figures.

The period drama also made a splash on social media, generating over 23,000 Tweets about the show during its broadcast.

According to data compiled by Virgin Media Hotlist, the related hashtags #DowntonAbbey, #LadyMary and #carsonsays all trended, while the show enjoyed a spike of 6,719 Tweets concerning Nanny West’s treatment of the Grantham children at around 10pm.

What’s more, a 40% positive sentiment was recorded by the company’s analytics, the highest recorded since March 2013.

Nick Forward, director of TV at Virgin Media, commented: “Downton failed to dominate the TV ratings last Christmas, but with high viewer figures and the right kind of reaction on social media, it’s in the right position to be even bigger this year – especially when you consider the on-demand and catch up views that are often driven by social media and word of mouth.

“The Downton makers are keeping the expected storyline of Mary’s next suitor up their sleeves for now, but they should be very happy with the initial response.”

Sunday’s viewing figures meant that Downton easily won the ratings battle. And while the opener was down by around 700k from the series three finale, it was up 2.3 million from the Christmas special.

By comparison, new BBC1 thriller By Any Means began with 4.11m at 9pm, while Channel 5’s broadcast of Conan The Barbarian attracted 1.00m, also at 9pm.

Read our verdict on the fourth season opener

Next story: Lee Mead to join BBC’s Casualty in recurring role