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Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey is a British / American television series, coproduced by Carnival Films in the UK and WGBH Boston in the US.

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The series is set on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and features an ensemble cast. It was created by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, and principally written by Fellowes. It premiered on ITV on 26 September 2010 and on PBS on 9 January 2011.

Reception of the programme was predominantly positive; ratings were extremely high for what is usually considered a "period" show, and the first series picked up a number of awards and nominations after its initial run. It has subsequently become the most successful British costume drama since the 1981 television serial version of Brideshead Revisited, and in 2011 it entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the "most critically acclaimed English-language television show" for the year, becoming the first British show to be recognised as such by the Guinness Book of Records.

The second series aired in autumn 2011 on ITV and in January 2012 on PBS. On 3 November 2011, ITV confirmed that a third series had been commissioned. The third series is currently in production for broadcast in September 2012 on ITV and in January 2013 on PBS.

The series is set in the fictional Downton Abbey, the Yorkshire country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the reign of King George V. The first series spans the two years before the Great War beginning with news of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, which sets the story in motion. The second series covers the years 1916 to 1919, and the 2011 Christmas Special covers the 1919 Christmas period, ending in early 1920.

Highclere Castle in Hampshire was used for exterior shots of Downton Abbey and most of the interior filming. The servants' living areas were constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios.

The village of Bampton in Oxfordshire was used for filming outdoor scenes, most notably St. Mary's Church and the library, which serves as the entrance to the cottage hospital. The Yorkshire towns and cities of Easingwold, Kirkby, Kirkbymoorside, Leeds, Malton, Middlesbrough, Ripon, Richmond, Thirsk and York have been mentioned by characters in the series.
The series was well received in both the United Kingdom and the United States, averaging more than six million viewers per episode.

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