Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece executive producer, said in a statement, “Alistair Cooke, the longtime host of Masterpiece Theatre, used to describe himself as the headwaiter, leading guests to a fabulous meal. We feel that hosts create an atmosphere and provide context for the programs that follow. When Masterpiece did its rebranding in 2008, the series was divided into three seasons. We decided that having a different host for each season would help to differentiate the programming for the audience. Laura Linney is as elegant and classic as the dramas she introduces.”
Season 3 of “Downton Abbey” has just premiered on PBS. See Linney’s introduction below.