Suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal? THIRTEEN is here to help! We’re celebrating the holiday season with a complete six-season series marathon of the popular Masterpiece program, broadcast over five days beginning December 28 at 8pm through Sunday, January 1 at 2:30pm. Relive favorite moments from all six seasons – including Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley’s romance, the servants Thomas and O’Brien’s conspiracies, and the Dowager Countess’s fabulously quotable zingers. It’s binge-watching at its most British.
In between some seasons and episodes we’re rebroadcasting Downton Abbey specials, Great Houses with Julian Fellowes and, upon occasion, sharing news from the real world with you! You can always check exact schedule details here. If you’re a THIRTEEN member, you can watch Downton Abbey episodes anytime with THIRTEEN Passport.
Schedule of Downton Abbey Marathon
Season 1 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
Wednesday, December 28 at 8pm through Thursday, December 29 at 1:50am
In the very first four episodes of Downton Abbey, set in 1912, the Titanic has sunk, eliminating Lord Grantham’s immediate heirs. Grantham and his American wife Cora’s eldest daughter Mary is courted by three suitors. Matthew becomes heir and a bitter rivalry between Mary and her sister Edith is ignited. And in the servants’ quarters, the past of Carson and Bates proves a shock.
Season 2 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
Thursday, December 29 at 6:30am through Thursday, December 29 at 8pm
Two years into World War I, Downton Abbey is in turmoil, as Matthew and other young men go to war — or avoid it. The women also pitch in, and many couples see their romantic dreams dashed. The seven episodes of Season 2 end with the family gathered for Christmas at Downton Abbey.
Season 3 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
Thursday, December 29 at 10:10pm through Friday, December 30 at 9:45am
In the seven episodes of Season 3, World War I is over and the long-awaited engagement of Lady Mary and Matthew is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate. Shirley MacLaine joins the much-loved cast, which includes Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton and many others. “No family is ever what it seems from the outside,” observes Smith’s shrewd character. Wedding guests descend on Downton Abbey, where disasters — large and small — threaten. One is Cora’s freewheeling American mother, who tries to loosen up her in-laws. The season ends with the Crawleys heading to a Scottish hunting lodge. New romances flare up, and a crisis unfolds.
Read Deborah Gilbert’s wrap-up on Season 3. A reminder: it was rough. In Gilbert’s words: “Not only has THIRTEEN’s Member and Viewer Relations Department received many angry letters, phone calls, emails, tweets, etc., we’ve heard stories of bereft Downtonians sobbing uncontrollably in the middle of business meetings; wandering the streets mumbling incoherently about cricket; and most disturbingly, hanging around dog parks, wistfully staring at the wagging doggy bums. What’s a downtrodden Downtonian to do?”
Season 4 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
Friday, December 30 at 11:57am through Saturday, December 31 at 1:29am
This fourth season of Downton Abbey finds aristocrats coping with last season’s shocking finale. Over the course of eight episodes, change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti makes an appearance alongside the beloved returning ensemble including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and a host of others. Six months after Matthew’s death, family and servants try to cure Mary and Isobel of their deep depression. Meanwhile, the servant O’Brien causes a final crisis, Lady Rose meets the Prince of Wales and faces a dilemma, and trouble plagues Cora’s mother and brother.
Debrief on all of Season 4 with Deborah Gilbert’s Wrap-up. As she put it: “No storming the barricades, no pitchforks and torches, no calls for Julian Fellowes’ head on a platter, no threats to never watch the show again. No, this season ended with a sigh and a smile, and maybe a happy little dance. Kind-of ironic considering how it all started so ominously, with that off-key piano and things that go bump in the night.”
Season 5 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
Friday, December 30 at 7am through Saturday, December 31 at 7pm
Start your New Year’s Eve celebration bright and early at 7am for a 14-hour span of Downtown Abbey (we do break for an hour of the here and now with PBS NewsHour and SciTech Now 6-7pm)! Season 5 starts off with the Crawley family and the staff struggling with responsibilities and choices as they adjust to life in the Roaring Twenties. The beloved ensemble cast in the nine episodes includes Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and others.
The finale of this season was broadcast on Christmas Day in the UK. Here is British TV maven Deborah Gilbert’s recap of Season 5, episode 9, which includes this assessment of the eldest daughter: “Mary, Mary, Mary, just when we think you’re a lost cause, you have to go and do something noble (defending the honor of Branson) and we have to rethink. You make us love you even when we don’t wanna do it.”
Season 6 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
Saturday, December 31 at 10:45pm through Sunday, January 1 at 12:20pm
Ring in 2017 with the Crawleys! Toast with your favorite character and be ready to stay up late (or early, however you view it) until the grand finale at 12:20pm on New Year’s Day. Extortion and downsizing threaten Downton Abbey in the finale season’s eight episodes. Change is afoot at the hospital. Mrs. Hughes poses a delicate question. Daisy speaks her mind, and the couple Anna and Bates wait for the word.
More Downton Abbey Specials
I Miss Downton Abbey!
Thursday, December 29 at 3:55am and Saturday, December 31 at 5:30am
Revisit treasured moments from the unforgettable series, including new behind-the-scenes clips and interview footage. Celebrate the stellar cast, the superb writing and the spectacular locations of the most successful British drama ever.
Manners of Downton Abbey: A Masterpiece Special
Thursday, December 29 at 5:30am
Join Alastair Bruce, historical advisor to Downton Abbey, as he reveals the secrets of how the aristocratic set dined and dressed, how they married and made money, how they interacted with the servants, and above all why they behaved as they did in 1900s Britain. Includes revealing interviews with leading cast members, including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Joanne Froggatt, and many others!
Great Houses with Julian Fellowes: Burghley House
Friday, December 30 at 4:27am and Sunday, January 1 at 5:25am
Fellowes visits Burghley, for 500 years the home of heirs of William Cecil, the political brain and iron fist behind the throne of Elizabeth I. He hears tales of royals and commoners, including a farmer’s daughter who married the tenth earl.
Great Houses with Julian Fellowes: Goodwood House
Friday, December 30 at 5:14am and Sunday, January 1 at 6:12am
Join Fellowes at Goodwood, for 300 years the home of the Dukes of Richmond. He learns how the house and family owe their existence to an affair between King Charles and a French spy and about the House Party, where illicit affairs were conducted.
More Manners of Downton Abbey: A Masterpiece Special
Saturday, December 31 at 4:32am
Return to the world of manners with Alastair Bruce, Downton Abbey’s historical advisor. With interviews with cast members like Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery, the program navigates the social protocol of aristocrats and servants in the 1920s.
Happy New Year! What’s After Downton?
We’ve queued up a grand European program to follow the Downton Abbey finale. Great Performances presents From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2017 at 2:30pm. Julie Andrews hosts the traditional ringing in of the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic, under the baton of guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel, featuring Strauss Family waltzes and more, and a picturesque range of Vienna landmarks. After the concert, rest up for the return of a PBS favorite: Sherlock, Season 4, Episode 1 airs at 9pm! The mercurial Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is back once more on British soil, as Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman) and his wife, Mary (Amanda Abbington), prepare for their biggest challenge yet: becoming parents.