Season 3 of Downton Abbey is about to hit PBS in the USA on Sunday and so far, Michelle Obama has managed to keep her sneak-peek at the new series under her hat but the footnote at the bottom of’s review suggests that social media sites have probably provided quite a few spoilers for US audiences. Unless America’s citizens have been living a net-free life since the series aired in the UK, it’s inevitable that they’ll have stumbled upon some of the storylines. The disgruntled Hitfix blogger Alan Sepinwall writes that “Twitter has already spoiled plenty for the non-torrenting American audience; let's leave it at that,” imploring the site’s users not to add to the gossip.

That said, Sepinwall is hardly a fan of the show, concluding that he needs to “simply accept” that, after three seasons of writing about it, it simply isn’t the show for him. It’s not all bad news for Downton, as season three is considered to be an improvement on the previous two series.

The highlight for many Americans, of course, will be the presence of Shirley Maclaine, who appears in the role of Martha Levinson, the American mother of Lady Cora (played by Elizabeth McGovern). the time that she shares onscreen with Maggie Smith, particularly, provides some of the highlights of the series.