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BBC series 'Call the Midwife' tops ratings for 'Downton Abbey' in UK

Still from the BBC show
Still from the BBC show "Call The Midwife."

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"Downtown Abbey" what? Dowager Countess who?

The most popular show in Britain these days is "Call the Midwife."

The show is based on the memoirs of Jenny Worth, who worked as a midwife in London's East End during the 1950s.

The new BBC show’s blockbuster ratings outpaced those for the first season of "Downtown Abbey."

Julia Raeside, who writes about TV for The Guardian, says that fans enjoy the warm friendships between women portrayed on the show. There's also a heart-warming birth or two on each episode.

But anything saccharine on the show is countered by graphic depictions of childbirth and women's health issues.

"Call the Midwife" is airing on PBS now. Here's the first episode.

Watch Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.

Julia Raeside, who writes about TV for The Guardian.