Despite the cold and snow of mid-December, hundreds of Downton Abbey fans from across mid-Michigan turned out for a sneak peek of the new season of the hit show from PBS Masterpiece and WKAR.
Fans of the show were treated to the first hour of the season four opening episode at special preview screenings hosted recently by WKAR.
Over 200 fans came out to the Michigan Theatre of Jackson on Thursday (Dec. 12) and nearly 400 saw the preview Saturday (Dec. 14) at the Sun Theatre in Williamston.
Those in attendance got a glimpse of what happens next at the estate after last season's cliffhanger episode that left Lady Mary a widow with an infant child.
"A big cheer went out when I heard that you were doing this. It's great," said Marilyn Guidinger of Jackson, who was curious about "how they're going to make the bridge from the sad occurrence at the end of last season to moving forward."
Rob and Kelley Robinson Dennis and family were at the Jackson showing. "We've watched every episode," said Rob. "[The end of last season] was quite a shock. I'm looking forward to seeing how she recovers."
"I have so given up predicting Downton Abbey. That's the fun of Downton Abbey, you just never know what's going to happen next," said WKAR member Christy Randals of Brooklyn.
"I really have to thank our hosts at Sun Theatre and Michigan Theatre," said Susi Elkins, WKAR TV station manager. "And it was so much fun to see folks come out and even dress for the occasion. I always enjoy meeting the passionate fans of our programming -- it's a great way to give back to those who financially support us throughout the year."
WKAR's ShaDonna Crosby greeted guests at the screenings. "As a newer member of the WKAR team, I was excited to meet so many supporters of the station," she said. "I was especially humbled to see so many people come out despite the weather! Great times!"
For Rie Daisies of Jackson, it was not her first WKAR Preview Screening. "We went to the Call the Midwife season 2 premiere that you guys did not that long ago. Thanks for putting stuff like this on for us. It's really nice."
M.B. Kellogg was part of a foursome who came to the Jackson screening dressed in period attire and sat for a portrait after the show. "We had such a great night. Thanks again!"
Downton Abbey returns to mid-Michigan on Sunday, January 5, at 9 p.m. on WKAR-TV.