How to Stream 'Downton Abbey' Online So You Don't Miss a Single Minute of Maggie Smith Sass

Well, it's been quite the long wait, but your favorite costume drama/Inter-War soap opera is about to come back: Downton Abbey Season 5 premieres January 4. After that long hiatus, it's finally (finally) time to figure out what all the Crawleys (and their staff, of course) are up to. Between Lady Mary's romantic travails (I'm staunchly Team Blake, by the way), shocking hidden pregnancies from my personal favorite Crawley sister, and Anna and Bates' adorableness (and, let's be real, murderousness), there's just so much to forward to. But what if I have plans on Sunday night? Where the heck can you stream Downton Abbey online at my leisure, like the Dowager Countess herself?

Now, if you haven't already torrented it (hey, it has been out in Britain since September — how is it fair that they got it some three-odd months earlier than us?), there are a few modes of watching it on the web — legally, of course. Unfortunately, the options are a bit more limited than they've been in the past — starting in 2014, Amazon gained exclusive rights to paid streaming of Downton Abbey, shutting out favorites like Netflix and Hulu/Hulu Plus (according to Zap2It, it's got the very special distinction of being the "most watched TV series of all time on Prime Instant Video").

With that in mind, here's every reason you have no excuse for missing a minute of Downton intrigue:

Amazon Prime

If you count yourself lucky enough to be subscribed to Amazon Prime (or perhaps you have a friend/spouse/parent you can share an account with — also, if you're a student you can always snag a six-month trial for free), streaming Downton should be fairly smooth sailing: the entirety of Season 5 will be available for instant streaming.


If streaming isn't quite your thing, you can always download your favorite show weekly: iTunes will have episodes of Season 5 available for purchase (HD is $2.99 per show) starting after the Sunday night premiere.


And last but certainly not least, we've got good old PBS. As with most of their shows, Downton Abbey Season 5 can be streamed for free (free!) on their Masterpiece Theatre website (each episode will become available after it airs on TV). Now, that's something to remember next time PBS is doing its fund drive, eh?

So, there you have it: Downton Abbey viewing options for every personality. Personally, I'll be glued to my TV set (preferably with some pizza and leftover peppermint bark) as soon as the thing airs, but if you're more tech-savvy and convenience-minded, streaming or downloading might just be the way to go.

Images: Courtesy of ©Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE; Giphy (5)