It all appeared to come and go so quickly. American fans of “Downton Abbey” waited almost a year to watch the third season of the soapy British drama, and now, less than two months after its first episode premiered, the show will again be on hiatus in the U.S.
The good news for any fan without access to a television set Sunday at 9 p.m. EST is that the third-season finale will be simulcast at PBS.org -- and it will also be available for streaming in the days to follow.
After being broadcast on the U.K.'s ITV, the third season of “Downton Abbey” made its debut in the U.S. on Jan. 6 to great fanfare. Little more than a month of Crawley family drama hardly seems fair, especially when audiences have adopted the characters into their own lives, intentionally or not.
The third-season finale itself will continue in the storytelling tradition established during the first two seasons, by way of a Christmas special. It will follow the Crawley family’s cricket match an attempt to resolve some of the sexual questions put forth in episode six, which aired as a two-hour program against the Grammy Awards show last weekend.
Season three has been nothing short of dramatic, even for a show that’s as known for its cheesy dialogue and hard-to-believe plot twists as “Downton Abbey” is. The likable peek at British social status that made the first two seasons so popular on both sides of the pond took a heart-wrenching turn during season three, which saw a death in the family and a major scandal “below the stairs.”
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Anyone hoping to catch up on the episodes before Sunday night’s send-off can do so via PBS' Masterpiece microsite. But be warned: It’s nearly impossible to turn the show off once the storyline is under way.