The series finale of “Downton Abbey” on PBS drew big numbers for PBS, going out with 9.6 million viewers.

The two-hour final episode on Sunday delivered the show’s fourth-largest U.S. audience ever. It trails only the Season 4 (10.2 million), Season 5 (10.1 million) and Season 6 (9.9 million) premieres. The previous high for a finale was 8.4 million viewers in 2015.

“These six seasons of ‘Downton Abbey’ have truly been a fantastic ride for all of us in the public television family,” PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger says in a statement. “A sincere thank you to Carnival Films, ‘Masterpiece,’ [EPs] Gareth Neame and Julian Fellowes, and all of our member stations for their part in this tremendous success. Most of all, thank you to all of the loyal viewers.”

“Downton Abbey” drew a larger audience from 9-11 p.m. than any of the commercial broadcast networks.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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