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On TV Tonight: Watch the premiere of 'Downton Abbey' on PBS Masterpiece Classic

Tonight watch as she plays Isobel Crawley, widowed mother of Dan Stevens' Matthew Crawley, heir to the large estate of Downton Abbey in the 2-hour premiere (Episode 1) of Downton Abbey on PBS' Masterpiece Classic.

Scheduled Air dates
Airing January 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2011 on PBS  Check local listings
Episode Guide and Synopsis
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4
Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, Downton Abbey portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them. Written and created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes, and starring Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Penelope Wilton (as Isobel Crawley), Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, and many others.

Twitter Event
Revel in the secrets and scandals of Downton Abbey with other fans during our Twitter Event, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2001, 9pm, ET. 

Watch Online
Downton Abbey is available for online viewing
January 10 - February 22, 2011



Watch the PBS' DA preview trailer

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

Here's Penelope Wilton (photo source: PBS Masterpiece)'s character/cast info from PBS Masterpiece's website for Downton Abbey...  

Isobel Crawley

Isobel is Matthew's widowed mother. She is the daughter of a doctor (her husband studied under her father) and she comes from the professional middle class. She embodies an entirely different set of values than those of the current Downton Abbey inhabitants, being far better educated than either Violet or Cora. Before long, she is in near constant confrontations with Violet. Isobel is intensely proud of her son.

Penelope Wilton

Born in England to a former actress and businessman father, Penelope Wilton moved to London when she was young and attended the Drama Centre. Acting since the early 1970s, her first love was the stage. Among the many honors for her stage work, Wilton has twice won the London Critics' Circle Award for Best Actress: in 1981 for Much Ado About Nothing and in 1993 for The Deep Blue Sea

Wilton has appeared in several Masterpiece productions including Country Matters, The Tale of Beatrix Potter, Wives and Daughters and Lucky Jim. Other notable film and television projects include The Borrowers, Iris, Calendar Girls, Shaun of the Dead, Match Point and Doctor Who.

Wilton was in part attracted to Downton Abbey by the opportunity to work with a personal heroine. "One of the reasons I did [Downton Abbey] was to work with Maggie Smith", Wilton said. "As a younger actress, (only slightly younger than Maggie), the person I admired more than anyone else on stage and in film was Maggie Smith, and I saw her in everything she did at The National Theatre. I wished I could be like her and now it's like working with a heroine and one doesn't have many of those when you grow older."

Read more Characters and Cast and Credits or see the Downton Abbey page on PBS' Masterpiece Classic for more info. about the miniseries. For additional info. on Downton Abbey, visit its official facebook page and iTV!

Also, for additional and complete Downtown Abbey series information, visit Charleybrown's fabulous blog: Enchanted Serenity of Period Films!

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