If Downton Abbey’s creator Lord Julian Fellowes gets his wish, South African viewers will get to see the highly-addictive British period drama much sooner on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) instead of a months' long wait.
Lord Julian Fellowes told The Telegraph that he wants overseas audiences to see Downton Abbey much sooner because the plots, intrigue and storylines are spoilt for overseas viewers due to the internet when the audience outside of the United Kingdom - as obsessed with the show - are made to wait for months to see it.
BBC Worldwide shows Downton Abbey on BBC Entertainment but there a huge lag time before South African viewers get to see a new series of the Carnival Films produced show.
A fifth season will start in the UK later this year, but won't be seen in South Africa until at least 2015. The "Christmas special" which is always the final episode is for instance never shown at, during or close to Christmas in South Africa.
"The difficulty that we have is that people are discussing the series as it happens online," said Lord Julian Fellowes, calling it "madness".
He wants Downton Abbey to be shown at the same time overseas and in America for instance as new episodes are shown in the UK, saying that the BBC did it in November last year for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary when the episode was shown worldwide simultaneously in 75 countries.
"The BBC have shown it can be done because they did it with Doctor Who so all this talk that it's impossible is wrong".
"I don't mean exactly the same time so people have to stay up all night but instead the same day in order for everyone to have a chance to watch it".