'Downton Abbey' closes its estate to big ratings

downton abbey final ratings

"Downton Abbey" had a very happy ending, and it got happier Tuesday when the size of audience was announced.

An average of 9.6 million viewers tuned into the series farewell of the PBS period drama on Sunday. This made it the most watched finale of any of the show's seasons.

The ratings for the series' last show saw an improvement of 14% over the the prior season's finale, and those ratings should also go up once delayed viewing over the week is accounted for.

The drama, which is set in England at the turn of the 20th century, debuted in 2011 and quickly became the top PBS drama of all time.

Related: 'Downton Abbey's' 5 great money lessons

Over its six season run "Abbey" won 12 Emmys, three Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

"We're thrilled that a show no one could have predicted would have been such a huge hit in the U.S. as well as a global phenomenon went on to become so beloved and garner such a huge audience for its final season," Gareth Neame, the show's executive producer said in a statement.

The classy drama, which broadcasts in the United Kingdom as well, also had a big impact online.

Sunday's show garnered 7.5 million impressions on Twitter on Sunday night, according to PBS. This made the finale the most tweeted episode of the season.

Related: America's love affair with British TV

"These six seasons of 'Downton Abbey' have truly been a fantastic ride for all of us in the public television family," Paula Kerger, PBS' president and CEO said in a statement. "Thank you to all of the loyal viewers whose enthusiasm and engagement with the show made 'Downton Abbey' a global sensation."

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