‘Downton Abbey’ Is Back

Downtown Abbey

Downton Abbey is back as it begins season four on PBS. Watched by 10.2 million viewers, it became the most viewed drama on Sunday night and the highest viewed opening show in PBS history. This will likely increase once the digital stats are counted.

The show is seen in the UK several months ahead of America, but PBS feels it has not hurt the ratings despite criticism of this tactic.

Paula Kerger, the PBS chief executive is pleased with viewers who tuned in post holiday to watch Downton. The writer, Julian Fellowes, has written every word for four seasons. “I toss him a huge bouquet,” says Rebecca Eaton, the Masterpiece Theater executive.

The creator and writer, Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey hints the next season might be the last or close to it. The TV show debuted in 2010. Why would he leave such a popular show? He has been slated to write The Gilded Age a U.S. drama. He also states he won’t do both at one time. Downton Abbey a British drama tells the story of the aristocratic Crawley family.

The drama was last seen in Britain on Christmas Day, when debutante Lady Rose had her coming out in London.

Downton Abbey is back and here’s a rundown. The year is 1922 and Matthew’s death is six months old. Mourning the loss is Mary in a cool, rather pretty way with vacant looks in a black dress. Mary chooses life after a pep talk and maybe gets a little dirty looking after possible farm animals; we’ll see. While her father, Lord Grantham, who thinks she should float forever in grief, yet unbelievably still shames her before the family.

A new maid, Edna Braithwaite, arrives and again Cora manages personnel, much like her husband tends to finances. Then the mysterious box comes with a letter from the departed Matthew, conveniently allowing Mary to inherit the estate and setting her up to be wealthy and desirable in the marriage sector.

Downtown Abbey's Lady Edith
Downtown Abbey’s Lady Edith

Downton Abbey is back on Sunday nights and with it, Lady Edith. With a strapless number in her wardrobe, she falls for the married Michael Greyson, her editor boyfriend and gets her due at parties of the literary kind. This relationship, though seemingly modern, remains complicated in the 1920’s era. Also there is cousin Rose dancing and making up a story.

Death and taxes is what they say you are assured of in life, with the UK and U.S. in that same boat. England and death duties date back to 1894, while the U.S. has collected tax on property transfers since 1916. The season four opening of Downton Abbey shows us that individuals or families had to sell property to pay the taxes. While the U.S. is more generous, especially with married individuals, England taxes at a rate of 40 percent above 650,ooo pounds, the amount allowed to be transferred to a spouse. Married Americans may transfer $10.68 million nontaxable upon death and unmarried individuals half that amount at $5.34 million.

While Downton Abbey is back on TV on Sunday nights on PBS, only one year did the U.S. not have estate taxes and that was the year Downton Abbey began, 2010.

By Kim Troike

Sources:
CNN
SMH
LaTimes
Forbes

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