As mentioned before, Downton Abbey began overseas in 2010 and was swiftly brought over to the United States in 2011. So far Downton Abbey is a hit success with multiple awards and nominations (For a full list, check out Downton Abbey's Award page over at IMDB - the International Movie Database).
A quick introduction to the series is as follows:
Downton Abbey follows the family of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, who is simply addressed as Lord Grantham. The family's lives, as well as the servants', are chronicled as they live in and around the grand country house, Downton Abbey. Robert Crawley is married to Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, an American. Many hardships and triumphs are brought into the Crawley's lives, as they work to keep Downton Abbey in a positive standing within the community adn to keep up appearances among their many diverse neighbors and family members.
Curious about the characters and just who is in the show? Check out IMDB's list of characters.
Since Downton Abbey is so popular, some authors have even taken to writing books about their characters watching the show and how they deal with the themes presented.