TODAY | January 07, 2013
>>> new season of downton abbey premiered last night. for devoted fans, like savannah, it couldn't have come soon enough. andrea canning has this story.
>> this is why i love savannah. we need to get you on board, matt.
>> i'm there.
>> produced by nbc universal is now popular in 200 countries. based on the buzz here in the states it's only growing in popularit popularity. it's a sophisticated soap opera set in the 1920s , english countryside that's become a modern day must-see hit around the world.
>> it means that deep down --
>> reporter: this is downton abse abbey, following the lavish lives of bluebloods and their counterparts, living under this estate, four times the size of new york's central park .
>> if any of you want to explore downton abbey, here's your chance.
>> in the 40-year history of pbs' masterpiece theater .
>> it really started as something that had a cult following but the audience has grown to be so big that it's nothing shorter than a phenomenon.
>> reporter: it's not just the states. downton abbey is the most watched drama in denmark and singapore and brazil. it's popular in israel, ice land and even crumpets to china.
>> a lot of sex, romance, some death and good old-fashioned backstabbing will really connect with an audience.
>> reporter: the excitement in the u.s. extends beyond just turning on the tv. from a spike in vintage dress sales to elaborate viewing parties complete with skoen scones and hats. why a party?
>> it makes you want to celebrate, seeing all the gorgeous sets and costume designs makes people want to do that in their own home.
>> reporter: with season three off to a strong start, downton shows no signs of slowing down.
>> certainly the highest popularity it's ever been right now. but i don't think it's reached its peak. there's no saying just how big the show still can get.
>> reporter: thousands are now flocking to tour the castle where downton abbey is filmed and the demand for butlers has increased. some trivia?
>> yeah, sure.
>> my great grandfather was a butler for eight british prime ministers , including churchill. my family love this is show.
>> right up your alley.
>> why didn't you bring any tea and crumpets? we're huge fans. it's aired in the u.k. already, season three.
>> savannah knows --
>> leave that aside.
>> way overboard on that. off camera, they walk around in corsets and --