'Downton Abbey' Season 4 finale ratings up over Season 3 finale but down from Season 4 premiere

downton-abbey-season-4-finale-2.jpg "Downton Abbey" continues to be an enormous hit for PBS. Its Season 4 finale earned an average of 8.5 million viewers and a 5.4 household rating, which puts it in second place among the broadcast networks. "Downton" was beaten only by the Winter Olympics closing ceremony on NBC.

The finale was up slightly from the Season 3 finale a year ago, though it was down nearly 2 million from the Season 4 premiere. While Season 3's ratings grew from premiere to finale, Season 4's dipped. It remains to be seen what kind of numbers Season 5 earns, but 8.5 million for Sunday's (Feb. 23) broadcast is still a solid showing.

"Downton" executive producer Gareth Neame says of the success, "We are absolutely thrilled that U.S. audiences have again followed 'Downton' so loyally throughout Season 4. The series launched with record ratings and continued to perform incredibly strongly throughout the run, and for a British drama to continue to add millions of viewers is truly wonderful for us all, both behind and in front of the camera."

Rebecca Eaton
, EP of "Masterpiece," adds, "We are so pleased with the passionate support U.S. audiences have shown 'Downton Abbey' throughout this season. I know that Season 5 will meet the high expectations of the show's millions of loyal fans."

"Downton Abbey" is currently filming its fifth season in the U.K., which will premiere across the pond in September and return to PBS in January 2015.
Photo/Video credit: PBS