Paula Kerger knew she had a hit with Downton Abbey in America after the viral success of "Downton Arby's" – an online spoof which set the period drama in a fast food restaurant selling soda and curly fries. Further parodies have included the rap-based "The Fresh Prince of Downton Abbey" and a tribute from NBC chat show host Jimmy Fallon, who made an eight-minute short called "Downton Sixbey" (named after his famous Studio 6B in New York). Kerger, who is president of PBS, the nearest American equivalent to the BBC, chose to buy Downton before it had even debuted on ITV but admits to having been taken "by surprise" by the scale of its American appeal. "People have created personalities on Twitter – my favourite is 'Lady Mary's Eyebrows'," she says.
"And people have organized viewing parties. It's beautifully done, it's filmed perfectly, it has great characters and is a compelling story."
Here again for your viewing pleasure is Downton Arby's: