downton abbey season 3 finale 'Downton Abbey' Season 3 finale ratings up nearly 3 million viewers over the Season 2 finaleThe ratings are in for the Season 3 finale of “Downton Abbey” and it’s good news for PBS. The finale, which aired as a Christmas Day special episode in the U.K., earned an average of 8.2 million viewers and a 5.2 household rating.

That’s up 50% over the Season 2 finale a year ago, which drew 5.4 million viewers and a 3.5 household rating. The finale is also up 300,000 viewers from the Season 3 premiere, which earned 7.9 million viewers and a 5.1 household rating.

By contrast, the Season 3 finale in Britain was watched by 6.8 million viewers, which was down over a million viewers from the U.K. airing of the Season 2 finale.

So, maybe interest in “Downton” wanes slightly in the U.K., but not in the U.S. Also, these ratings do not include station replays, DVRs or online streaming.

“Downton Abbey” is starting filming on Season 4 this spring and will return to U.S. airwaves in January 2014.