‘Downton Abbey’ hype may highlight PBS problems

PBS executives are promoting the second season of its imported British costume drama "Downton Abbey," doing their best not only to attract viewers to the program but also to present "Downton Abbey" as part of a new strategy to attract audiences. However, critics such as Brian Lowry of Variety have responded by saying that this is more public relations than anything resembling a deliberate plan, "misreading something after the fact, then allowing execs to conflate an unexpected windfall into a 'strategy.'" And across the Atlantic, the hype may have backfired. In the UK, where "Downton Abbey" runs on the commercial…