PBS already has talked with Julian Fellowes about his next drama for Masterpiece. Masterpiece chief Rebecca Eaton, talking to Deadline about today’s announced ending for Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, confirmed the talks, but declined to elaborate.
PBS chief Paula Kerger also was on the phone call, to assure Deadline PBS is not in a panic about the coming end of its most popular drama series in its history and a show that single-handedly made public broadcasting sexy again.
Eaton, however, acknowledged Downton has “been a game-changer” for the Masterpiece franchise that struggled for years to find a corporate sponsor when ExxonMobile dumped it, until Downton came along and turned Masterpiece back into the prettiest dress in the shop. She said she expects that impact to linger.
“What it’s done for Masterpiece is increase the non-Downton audience by 25-30 percent – the rising tide truly raised the boat,” Eaton…
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