Preview: Downton Abbey premiere and high tea

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From the January 3, 2013 edition

When TV Guide wrote about “Downton Abbey” last February, it marked the first time a PBS primetime series had been on the heralded magazine’s cover in more than 30 years. The show, a period piece about a Yorkshire estate in the early 1900s, has earned top ratings in Columbus, too, said WOSU Public Media’s marketing and communications director Meredith Hart.

Season 3 of the series airs this Sunday night, but WOSU Public Media is letting fans watch it early for free this Saturday at the Southern Theatre.

Before the show is a tea party at the Westin Columbus (sorry, latecomers, this event sold out in two weeks). On-hand will be a quartet from the Columbus Musicians LLC performing music from the era, a professor from the OSU history department to discuss food in England during the turn of the century, and, of course, tea and scones.

“Being able to provide a unique experience for our local viewers of this much-lauded show was an easy decision,” Hart said.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a loyal legion of “Downton Abbey” fans at WOSU Public Media’s offices. Tom Rieland, the team’s general manager, is a Downton devotee. He’ll be at the tea in a bowler hat. Say cheerio!