Press Releases


February 4, 2011


~ New "Upstairs Downstairs" coming in April. ~

Milwaukee, WI -- (February 3, 2011) "Downton Abbey," Julian Fellowes' Edwardian spellbinder, will return to MPTV via MASTERPIECE Classic with new episodes in winter 2012. Fellowes will continue as the writer for the upcoming series, and cast members have already committed to the second season, among them Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern.

"Downton Abbey" depicts the intertwined lives of servants and aristocrats at a country estate and is one of the most successful miniseries in recent MASTERPIECE history. Dubbed "an instant classic" by The New York Times, and "the best abbey since Abbey Road" by Entertainment Weekly, more than six million viewers watched the television broadcast each week and thousands more streamed it on the MASTERPIECE website and discussed it online according to WGBH Boston, the presenting station.

"Lightning doesn't strike often in television these days, but it certainly did with 'Downton Abbey,'" says MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "It was a fantastic start to our 40th anniversary season, and Series 2 is good news for everyone."

Gareth Neame, executive producer and managing director, Carnival Films, says, "We're delighted by the warm reception U.S. audiences have given the first series of "Downton Abbey," and we can't imagine a better home than MASTERPIECE on PBS for the second series."

For a limited time all four episodes of "Downton Abbey" can be watched online on the MASTERPIECE website -- The DVD is also available.

In April 2011, MASTERPIECE Classic "Upstairs Downstairs" continues at 165 Eaton Place with new characters upstairs and down in an updated version of the much-loved MASTERPIECE series from the 1970s. Jean Marsh returns as Rose with a stellar cast including Eileen Atkins as Lady Maud Holland, Claire Foy as Lady Persie, Nico Mirallegro as Johnny Proude, Art Malik as Amanjit Singh, Ellie Kendrick as Ivy Morris, Neil Jackson as Harry Spargo, Keeley Hawes as Lady Agnes Holland, Ed Stoppard as Sir Hallam Holland, Adrian Scarborough as Mr. Pritchard, and Anne Reid as Mrs. Thackeray. Set in 1936, the lives of masters and servants have never been so captivating. Tentative airdates are Sundays, April 10, 17, and 24, 2011 at 8 p.m. on MPTV 10.1 HD.

MPTV is a community-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since its inception, MPTV has educated, entertained, and inspired. Today, MPTV offers viewers a family of 10 digital channels - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MPTV Viewer services can be reached at 414-297-7520,, Twitter and Facebook.