Last Updated on December 20, 2020
Great news for period drama fans in the US! In 2020, Peacock launched its ad-supported streaming service, with more than 13,000 hours of free premium content, including “Downton Abbey.”
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Read on for details on how to watch “Downton Abbey” for free, along with other historical and costume dramas on Peacock.
The streaming service Peacock offers a free plan that includes movies, classic and current shows, channels available only on Peacock, kids shows and movies, news, and more.
Peacock houses all six seasons of “Downton Abbey,” and thankfully the streamer from NBCUniversal has made the beloved period drama available on their completely free, ad-supported tier.
British costume drama fans in the US are able to start binging seasons 1 – 6 of “Downton Abbey” on Peacock at no cost beginning July 15. Sounds to us like a perfect reason to break out the Downton-themed cocktails and foods for a (distanced) watch-party. You’ll need to create a free account on Peacock TV here to login, make a watchlist, and start watching.
New content will continually be added to Peacock, but other free period dramas available at launch include “Atonement,” “Vanity Fair,” “Phantom Thread,” “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” “The Sting,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Topsy Turvy,” and “Gosford Park.” (Read about Phantom Thread and Gosford Park.)
Also available in the genre at launch are “Madame Bovary,” “Ashes in the Snow,” “Lady Godiva,” “Dracula,” “Summer in February,” “Beyond the Sea,” “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and “Bright Young Things.”
You can watch on your desktop, and there’s a free app available that allows you to easily sort through movies and TV series. Peacock is currently available on Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; and VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs and LG Smart TVs. In September 2020, the Peacock app became available nationwide on the Roku® platform.
If you want an affordable option that has fewer ads than the completely free tier, there’s an ad-supported tier for $4.99/month, serving no more than five minutes of advertising per hour.
If you need to watch “Downton Abbey” without interruption, opt for the Peacock Premium ad-free tier. The cost at launch is $9.99/month.
Both free and premium tiers will feature current season hits from NBC, timely news, sports and pop culture highlights, and dozens of genre channels including live news from NBC News Now and Sky News, as well as exclusive curated channels.
“Downton Abbey,” the award-winning series from Julian Fellowes, spanned 12 years of gripping drama centered on a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. The series followed the Granthams and their family of servants through sweeping change, scandals, love, ambition, heartbreak, and hope.
All six seasons of Downton Abbey aired on MASTERPIECE on PBS from 2011-2020. The stellar ensemble cast features Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nichol, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Rob James-Collier and Kevin Doyle among many others.
“Downton Abbey” full episodes, video shorts and other content are no longer available from PBS MASTERPIECE and PBS Passport. All six seasons were also slated for removal from Amazon Prime Video but as of September 2020, Seasons 1-6 are still included with Prime Video.
The 2019 “Downton Abbey” movie won’t be available on Peacock at launch (and there’s no indication it will headed there any time soon), though there are a few options for watching it online. (Read our spoiler-free review of the Downton Abbey movie.)
The paid Peacock Premium tier will offer more than 20,000 hours of premium content from networks and studios including NBC, Bravo, USA Network, SYFY, Oxygen, E!, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Universal Kids, A&E, ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, HISTORY, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Focus Features, Illumination, ViacomCBS, Paramount, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and Blumhouse. In addition, the service will feature Peacock Original movies and shows; more than 30 curated channels; current season series and specials from NBC and Telemundo; live news and sports; as well as daily trending highlights from TODAY, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, Noticias Telemundo, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, E! Newsand Access Hollywood.
Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, as well as eligible Cox Contour customers, enjoy Peacock Premium included with their service at no additional cost. Starting the week of July 20, Peacock will be available Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.
For more information, visit Peacock TV here where you can create a free account to login, make a watchlist, and start watching.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see The Period Films List, with British, historical and costume dramas sorted by era. Be sure to see this list of Period Dramas to Stream for Free.