After “Downton”: The Next BBC/PBS Hit?

‘American viewers,’ claims the Telegraph, ‘couldn’t get enough of the class snobbery and grandeur of “Downton Abbey.” But will the misery of the East End’s post-war slums prove quite as appealing when “Call The Midwife” becomes the latest British drama to cross the Atlantic?

‘The series, about a group of midwives in 1950s London, became BBC1’s most popular new drama for more than a decade. It has now been snapped up for a Sunday night prime-time slot by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which scored record ratings when it broadcast “Downton Abbey.”

‘American executives believe that the themes of nursing and childbirth, set against a gritty period backdrop, will translate to US viewers despite the lack of glamorous gowns and high-born scheming which has made “Downton Abbey” an international hit. Adapted by Heidi Thomas from Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, the series stars Jessica Raine as Jenny Lee, a young midwife who is attached to an order of nursing nuns and must navigate the teeming East End streets and a culture very different from the English countryside where she was raised.’

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