downton abbey retail line fashion 'Downton Abbey' releasing fashion, homeware and furniture linesU.K. drama “Downton Abbey” has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Viewers tune in by the millions, parodies crop up everywhere. Now, executive producer Gareth Neame tells CNBC that the show is about to put out a large line of merchandise.

“We’ll be working across an entire range of products coming out this year. From fashion, apparel and homeware and furniture to wallpapers, beauty products and stationary,” says Neame.

“We publish books and have made a music album, but the most complex products take time,” he adds. “It’s a very slow burn the moment you get into retail. It’s extreme cautious, it has to test the established brand … No one wants to launch products if the show’s going to be a flop.”

No chance of that. Ratings for Season 3 of the drama set a record for PBS and the show is just as popular in the U.K.

“The show didn’t even hit its high point in the U.S. until this year when series three ended … it’s very rare for a British drama to have this much retail potential and merchandizing value,” Neame concludes.

What “Downton” products will you be rushing out to buy? 

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."