“Upstairs” Lesbians Vs. “Downton”

Last year’s disappointing reboot of “Upstairs Downstairs” — created by Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh (pictured) — suffered the indignity of being overshadowed by the richer, creamier “Downton Abbey.” The second season of the “Upstairs” revival, however, is not shying away from the spotlight. In order to boost its ratings, it will feature Alex Kingston, formerly of “ER” and once the wife of Ralph Fiennes, as the sensual adventuress Blanche Mottershead, who has a secret lesbian relationship with the program’s Lady Portia. Also in the offing: a 1938 visit to London by the future President John F. Kennedy.

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