To help people with Downton Abbey withdrawal, PBS announced today at its national convention in Denver, it plans to follow up on the success of Downton Abbey with British miniseries Call the Midwife. The series is about midwifery in 1950s London and was a huge success when it aired on the BBC last year. It will debut on PBS Sunday, September 30.
"People are in "Downton" withdrawal," PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said. Other projects, including "Birdsong" and "Sherlock," benefitted from what she called "the Downton halo," and she expects "Midwife" will, too.
The lesson of "Downton" for PBS, she said was "the power of social media." Not only did the drama reach a record PBS audience, it became the subject of parody on "Saturday Night Live," Twitter and YouTube — true signs of cultural impact. With "Call the Midwife," Kerger said, "we hope to appeal to the core PBS audience and bring in slightly younger audiences, too."