While British drama Downton Abbey has become a big success for PBS, the BBC’s revival of Upstairs Downstairs has been cancelled after nine episodes. There won’t be a third series of episodes according to the broadcaster.
The original version of Upstairs Downstairs ran for five seasons and 68 episodes, from 1971 until 1975. The show was revived in 2010, picking up some six years after the end of the original with co-creator Jean Marsh reprising her role as housekeeper Rose Buck.
The first episode of the revival reportedly drew 8.85 million viewers. The other two episodes of the first season attracted 8.13 million and 8.18 million.
Another six episodes began airing this past February, 14 months later, and the numbers diminished over the span of the season. The last episode drew 5.22 million, a 41% decrease when compared to the first installment.
A BBC spokesperson said, “From Call the Midwife to Bird Song and The Syndicate, 2012 has been a great year for Original British Drama on BBC1 but at this stage there are no plans for Upstairs Downstairs to return.”
The revival’s chief writer, Heidi Thomas, wrote on Twitter: “Really touched by all the love and sadness for Upstairs Downstairs.” “It was made by a tremendous team and I can’t praise them enough.” “Truly sad about Updown, but can now fully and wholeheartedly honour the massive commitments I have elsewhere, including Call The Midwife.”
Thomas also congratulated Sarah Gordy, the Downs Syndrome actress who played Pamela, who also expressed her sadness over the cancellation.
Actor Neil Jackson, who played chauffeur Harry Spargo on the series, wrote, “I have just heard that the BBC will not be making any more Upstairs Downstairs. I loved the show and will miss it greatly.”
What do you think? Will you miss the new Upstairs Downstairs? How do you think it compares to the original?
Image courtesy BBC.