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'Downton Abbey,' 'Mad Men:' Why the good old days are hot again
The third season premiere of "Downton Abbey" was heralded by the sort of media blitz more in line with the Summer Olympics or a new Robert Downey Jr. franchise than anything appearing on PBS' "Masterpiece." The public television network hosted a red-carpet preview screening for PBS SoCal members aboard the Queen Mary, for mercy's sake. And merchandising for "Downton" threatens to out-deluge that for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," with books and jewelry, mugs and calendars, and T-shirts identifying themselves with one of the Crawley sisters or demanding that authorities "Free John Bates."
By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
January 13, 2013