WSIU to Host Downtown Abbey Preview Parties



Carbondale, Ill. – Break out the Roaring Twenties costumes! On Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6, WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is hosting free preview parties in Olney, Illinois, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Murphysboro, Illinois to celebrate the upcoming sixth and final season of the Masterpiece series Downton Abbey.

Southeast Health and Hutson’s Fine Furniture in Cape Girardeau, Missouri are sponsoring all three events and the television broadcasts of Masterpiece featuring Downton Abbey on WSIU-TV. Richland Memorial Hospital and Olney Central College are also sponsoring the Olney event.

“Downton Abbey has been a six-year phenomenon nationwide, and Southern Illinois viewers are no exception,” says Greg Petrowich, Executive Director of WSIU Public Broadcasting. “This has gotten bigger every year, to the point we needed three events this year. Fans of the series know their home for all things ‘Downton’ is WSIU/WUSI-TV.” 

The first event will be held on Saturday, December 5 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. at the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center at Olney Central College in Olney, Illinois.

The second event also will take place on Saturday, December 5 from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. at the Glenn Convocation Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The final event will be held on Sunday, December 6 from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the Murphysboro Event Center in Murphysboro, Illinois.

At each event, guests will enjoy a reception with refreshments provided by Cristaudo’s Café, Bakery & Catering in Carbondale, followed by a screening of the first hour of season six of Downton Abbey. Additional activities include door prizes and photo opportunities with life-sized cutouts of Downton Abbey characters Anna, Bates, Carson, Lady Mary, and Violet the Dowager Countess. Guests are encouraged, but not required, to dress in 1920s-era finery.

Registrations are required at, via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by calling (618) 453-6122.

Prior to the premiere of Season Six of Downton Abbey on January 3, WSIU will rebroadcast Season 5 in its entirety on Saturday, December 12 from 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 13 from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday, December 20 from 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 27 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.

The new season will premiere on WSIU-TV 8 and WUSI-TV 16 beginning Sunday, January 3, 2016 at 8 p.m.

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