The fifth season of “Downton Abbey” premiered two Sundays ago on ITV in the United Kingdom and will begin broadcasting stateside on Jan. 4 on PBS. Already, the period drama has drawn impressive numbers in its native England and could well reap more record audiences for the pubcaster here in the new year.
The Emmys have regularly recognized “Downton Abbey” in the program categories (won miniseries in 2011, nominated for drama series in 2012, 2013, 2014) and for both directing (won 2011, nominated 2012, 2013, 2014) and writing (won 2011, nominated 2012, 2013).
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And eight of the cast have contended: leads Hugh Bonneville (nominated 2012, 2013), Michelle Dockery (nominated 2012, 2013, 2014) and Elizabeth McGovern (nominated 2011); supporting actors Jim Carter (nominated 2012, 2013, 2014) and Brendan Coyle (nominated 2012); supporting actresses Joanne Froggatt (nominated 2012, 2014) and Maggie Smith (won 2011, 2012; nominated 2013, 2014); and guest actor Paul Giamatti (nominated 2014).
In the technical categories, the Emmys have celebrated the show for its Art Direction (nominated 2011 – 2014), Casting (nominated 2011 – 2013), Cinematography (won 2011), Costumes (won 2011, nominated 2012 – 2014), Hairstyling (won 2012/2014, nominated 2013), Music Composition (won 2012, 2013; nominated 2014), Picture Editing (nominated 2011, 2012), Sound Editing (nominated 2011) and Sound Mixing (nominated 2012, 2014).
The first season competed in the miniseries categories in 2011 and was expected to lose the top races to “Mildred Pierce,” but it swept up six Emmys, including Best Miniseries.
When the second season shifted to the drama categories in 2012, it exceeded expectations, expanding from 12 to 16 nominations despite steeper competition. However, when “Downton Abbey” lost Best Drama Series to “Homeland,” which had only nine nominations, conventional wisdom formed that this period piece had peaked at the Emmys and its nominations been a flash in the pan.
Indeed, Bonneville and Carter were not expected to score second consecutive nominations the next year in 2013, but they overcame their odds.
This year at the Emmys, with the fourth season in contention, Gold Derby predicted an even steeper decline, again predicting snubs for Bonneville and Carter, as well as Dockery and the show itself. Instead, it reaffirmed its resilience, as it, Carter and Dockery were nominated again. While Bonneville wasn’t, Froggatt did reap a surprise bid.
That fourth edition is the one that will be in contention at both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. How will “Downton Abbey” fare with these kudos? Cast your ballot for Best TV Drama Series at the Golden Globes below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.