The good and bad news about 'Downton Abbey' numbers

downton.jpgFirst the good: The season three finale drew a series-high 8.2 million viewers nationally, a huge jump from the 5.4 million that watched the final episode last year. Ratings-wise, Sunday night's show scored a 5.2, according to Nielsen, compared with 3.5 for the end of season two. Now the not so good: Can you name the local station that carried "Downton"? It's KOCE, the PBS outlet for Southern California after KCET dropped its affiliation, and I can't recall the last time I tuned in other than to watch "Masterpiece Theater" (I think it was the David Geffen profile back in November, much of which I picked up through PBS online). What's more, we have yet to receive a single solicitation from KOCE asking for support. Part of this disconnect reflects the nature of TV watching these days, where no single station carries any particular loyalty. But you'd think that an Orange County station trying to gain stature - not to mention dollars - in a community as rich as L.A. would try to be a lot more visible. Will thousands of local viewers skip KOCE entirely until season four of "Downton Abbey" airs next year? Andy Russell, a PBS veteran who recently was hired as chief operating officer, has to find some answers.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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