Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — NBC’s behind-the-scenes glimpse of “Downton Abbey” is coming to the international market after Drive landed the distribution rights to the upcoming special.
Focus Features and Carnival Films' “Downton Abbey” movie premiered in London earlier this week and hits theaters Friday. NBC has scheduled a Sept. 19 air date in the U.S. for its one-hour behind-the-scenes special, “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event,” which takes in the film and series.
International broadcasters now have a chance to pick up the program as well – including in the U.K., where, to the consternation of “Downton Abbey” fans, the special does not yet have a home. The series aired for six seasons on ITV, Britain's biggest commercial broadcaster.
NBC and Focus Features commissioned “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event” from Irish producer Peninsula. The international version will be called “Return to Downton Abbey.” Drive, a boutique U.K.-based finance and distribution outfit, will bring the special to market as “Downton Abbey: The Movie” is released around the world, and will give it a push at Mipcom in Cannes next month.
The special is narrated by actor Jim Carter, who played loyal butler Mr. Carson in the hit show, which … — Stewart Clarke/@Variety