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Social media is all abuzz this week with the announcement from Downton Abbey producers that Shirley MacLaine has been cast to play Martha Levinson, Cora Crawley’s mother in Season 3. Perhaps any crumb about the new season would be eagerly gobbled up by starving Downton fans who have seen all previous episodes (some many times…guilty). Even the huge feast of the Christmas Special could hardly keep us satisfied for long.
But this casting news is no small crumb. Downton Abbey has drawn a wide huge audience from the United States, many from a younger demographic than what PBS normally attracts. Brian Wheeler, BBC News Washington correspondent recently wrote a great piece: The US Cult of Downton Abbey, examining the popularity. Some insights include great looking young people both upstairs and down, American fascination with British Aristocracy, a glimpse into a simpler time, and it’s free on PBS, so that everyone can enjoy it.