Downton Abbey TV Show

With streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus, watching imported television programs has never been easier. But just because a show comes from across the pond doesn’t guarantee its success here in the States. So, what places the most popular shows above the rest? Let’s examine some of our favorite shows imported from the UK to see what sets them apart.

Doctor Who

The longest running science-fiction show in television history is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What makes the show so appealing to audiences the world over? One factor may be that the Doctor regenerates every few years and new companions are constantly joining his adventures, allowing for new actors and a fresh take on story lines and mythologies. There really never is a dull moment, as plot twists and new mysteries abound. And there’s that whole time travel thing. That never gets old.

Downton Abbey

With a perfect blend of history, fashion, and drama, Downton Abbey has something for the whole family to enjoy. For the ladies, there’s the romance and strong female characters. Men can relate to Lord Crawley’s constant struggle to keep his household and finances under control. And anyone who has ever felt under appreciated at work might find they sympathize with the servants. A word of warning: The Crawley family has had its share of tragedy lately, so don’t get too attached to any one character.


This contemporary take on the classic figure from literature has brought new life to stories many haven’t read since high school. With the modern spin, it is like being reintroduced to an old friend that you forgot was awesome. Clever camera shots and onscreen overlays allow the viewer to see into the mind of Sherlock, which adds to the suspense and drama, and looks great, too. Fans are eagerly awaited the third season, which hits the airways this fall.

Top Gear

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a car enthusiast to enjoy this fan favorite, which is actually one of the most popular shows in the world. The hosts have an obvious passion for their work that comes through in every single episode. They also have great chemistry and camaraderie with one another, and it’s hard not to fall for their British charm. Not only is it educational, but the show finds exciting and adventurous ways to test out the features of the vehicles it spotlights. Plus, that famous British wit is scattered throughout every minute and leaves you wanting more.

What are your favorite imported shows? Do you think the British do types of TV better than the US?

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