|Lady Sybil, Lady Mary, and Lady Edith|
'Unsurprisingly, the lavish period drama has now been snapped up by an American network - although it seems the beautifully nuanced portrait of pre-First World War upper-class life could prove just a little too complex for the transatlantic audience.
For in the land of the notoriously short attention span, TV executives have taken a knife to the artfully crafted series, slashing its running time and simplifying the plotline for fear viewers will be left baffled.'HUH!!!!? Show us the full 8 hours, I say. We who view PBS not only have the stamina to view long shows, but the background and historical knowledge to understand the nuances of British primogeniture and inheritance laws.
Rebecca Eaton, an executive producer for the PBS network - which will be airing it from next week - admits that American audiences demand a 'different speed' to their shows.
As a result, Downton, which ran for eight hours on ITV, has been slashed to six for the States, while the storyline about the inheritance of the Abbey has been downplayed.Read more about this topic at the Daily Mail
Are we in the U.S. truly such short attention-spanned viewers? Please vote if you are interested in seeing the longer version of Downton Abbey (or not). We need to let PBS know our position.
UPDATE: Gentle readers, reader CharleyBrown left the following comment, which disputes the Daily Mail's article:
Vic, unfortunately the Daily Mail reporter chose to ignore, when it was explained to him by an American tv reviewer, that the running time in Britain is ALSO 6 hours once you take away the commercials. I have the British episodes and can attest to that.
Speaking to someone who has seen the new edited version, she told me that some NEW scenes have been added and the scenes that had been cut were only of repetitious dialogue, etc. and she indicated that she liked the changes.
And with regards to Ms. Eaton mentioning the appearance of Matthew Crawley in the first episode, that would happen with the new format. In UK, the first episode was 65 minutes, so with the 90 minute episode for PBS we would see the arrival of Downton's heir sooner.
It's a pity that the Daily Mail chose to greatly exaggerate the edits.