The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Entertainment & Events

August 16, 2013

Class act? 'Downton Abbey' enters fray

LONDON — Forget “Mad Men” modernism. This season’s style is all about “Downton Abbey’’’s Edwardian opulence.

Millions around the world have been seduced by the strait-laced but stylish world of the British historical drama. Soon they’ll be able to take some of that style home, getting lips as soft as Lady Mary’s, wine inspired by Lord Grantham’s favorite tipple — and even walls as gray as Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen.

Since it premiered in 2010, the series about the family and servants of a grand English house in the 1910s and 1920s has become a television juggernaut, sold to 220 territories around the world.

The program’s makers have arguably been slow to exploit the commercial potential of that popularity through merchandising, selling little more than DVD sets, wall calendars and desk diaries. But that is about to change. Along with the fourth season starting on British TV next month, and on PBS in January, comes a range of merchandise that includes a board game, homewares, clothes, beauty products, and even “Downton” wine.

All in the best possible taste, of course.

“We haven’t rushed into it,” executive producer Gareth Neame told The Associated Press this week. “We don’t want to carpet bomb the retail sector.”

In keeping with the program’s posh-frothy image, the products being rolled out aim to be quirky rather than kitschy.

This fall, British retail chain Marks & Spencer will be selling a “Downton Abbey” beauty line, including soap, nail polish, lip gloss, lotion and scented candles. The items are whimsically packaged and adorned with quotations from the series, including the advice offered by Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham in the first episode: “No one wants to kiss a girl in black.”

“Downton” merchandising in the U.S. and Canada is handled by Knockout Licensing, which has struck deals for a jewelry range from Danbury Mint and “Downton”-themed Christmas ornaments from Kurt Adler — both going on sale later this year.

Text Only
Entertainment & Events
  • Boondocks 'Boondocks' back for final 'offensive' season NEW YORK -- The brash animated series "The Boondocks" returns to Adult Swim for its fourth and final season without Aaron McGruder, the man who spawned it, but with its brashness intact. A future episode even spoofs "Breaking Bad." The weekly episode

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marquez Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87 MEXICO CITY -- Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez crafted intoxicating fiction from the fatalism, fantasy, cruelty and heroics of the world that set his mind churning as a child growing up on Colombia's Caribbean coast. One of the most revered and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

  • Obit Phillip Hayes Dean [Duplicate] Playwright Dean dies NEW YORK -- Phillip Hayes Dean, a playwright, director and theater actor who wrote the one-man play "Paul Robeson" starring James Earl Jones on Broadway in 1978, died Monday in Los Angeles from a heart condition, according to a family spokesman. He w

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on 'The View'

    Jenny McCarthy had big news to share Wednesday on "The View": She's engaged to Donnie Wahlberg.

    McCarthy raised her hidden left hand from behind the desk, revealing an engagement ring.

    April 16, 2014

  • All 'View' co-hosts will salute Barbara Walters

    ABC's "The View" will gather all 11 past and present co-hosts to salute Barbara Walters as she retires from daily television.

    The network said Wednesday the first-ever reunion will air live on the May 15 episode of "The View," the day before Walters says goodbye as series co-host.

    April 16, 2014

  • Steely Dan to play Illinois State Fair

    Grammy Award-winning rock band Steely Dan will play this year's Illinois State Fair.

    State officials made the announcement on Monday afternoon. They say the band will play its "Jamalot Ever After" tour at the fair on Aug. 15. Steely Dan had a string of hits during the 1970s. They won a Grammy in 2000 for Album of the Year.

    April 14, 2014

  • With $41.4M, 'Captain America' holds off 'Rio 2'

    "Captain America" continued to flex its Marvel muscle at the global box office, as "The Winter Soldier" took in $41.4 million domestically and $60.6 million overseas.

    The strong second-week performance for the Walt Disney release in North America was enough to narrowly edge 20th Century Fox's "Rio 2" in a springtime battle of sequels. The animated Amazon jungle tale "Rio 2" debuted with $39 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, almost exactly the opening weekend total of the 2011 Oscar-nominated original.

    April 13, 2014

  • O'Brien: Colbert 'right person' to do 'Late Show'

    Don't feel bad for Conan O'Brien. Again.

    The 50-year-old talk show host said he was never a contender to take over CBS' the "Late Show" when David Letterman announced his retirement last week. The funnyman, who has hosted his talk show "Conan" on TBS since 2010, said he believes Stephen Colbert is the "right person" to take over the show from Letterman.

    April 12, 2014

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

Facebook
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.