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'Indian Summers': Could it be the next 'Downton Abbey'?

Beverly Hills -- There will never be another "Downton Abbey" -- except, there has to be. Viewers demand it, public TV demands it, financial backers demand it... The problem with success, and "Downton" is the single most successful scripted series in PBS history, is that more success must follow. It is the way of the commercial TV world, and now that PBS has gotten a tase of an almighty hit, it stands to reason that it would lilke another bite of this apple, too.  Rebecca Eaton, czar of "Masterpiece Theatre," told TV writers here yesterday, that she may have found just the thing: "Indian Summers," with Olivia Grant. 

 But let Eaton tell you about this newcomer (airdate and arrival are TBD): There never will be another “Downton Abbey,” but we are swinging for the fences and we are going to die trying to find the next 'Downton,' " she said.

Of "Summers" she said: Remember “Jewel in the Crown”? With any luck, this is a combination of the “Jewel in the Crown” and “Downton Abbey.” It is set during the period of British Raj in India in the 1930s. And the concept for the show, if it works, is that it will be ten hours long each season. And each season will regroup and follow the same group of characters you meet in season 1 two or three years later, leading up to 1947, which was the year of Indian independence. So we’re on a hill station, which is where the British went. The government moved up to the hill to the cooler weather up top, and the entire Indian support team of the government, the clarks, everyone came... clerks, sorry. The clerks came up with them, and this is the story of the government who is there, the incredibly handsome man who is our lead, the people, the women who love him, and the young Indian clerk whose life intersects with Ralph’s when he is shot, and therein begins the tale.


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