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Ralph Lauren To Sponsor MASTERPIECE On PBS

BOSTON, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MASTERPIECE, the celebrated PBS drama series known for hit programs such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock, is pleased to announce that Ralph Lauren Corporation is becoming a national corporate sponsor for the series.

It is the first television sponsorship for Ralph Lauren Corporation, a company renowned for perfecting the art of classic American design.

"To have Ralph Lauren choose MASTERPIECE as their first TV sponsorship is an incredible tribute to our series," said MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton at WGBH Boston, who noted that MASTERPIECE has won six Emmy® awards for Outstanding Costumes. "Their support will help us maintain the standard of excellence that drew them to MASTERPIECE in the first place."

"We are proud to be associated with MASTERPIECE and public television," said David Lauren, Executive Vice President of Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communication, Ralph Lauren Corporation. "This is a great partnership with a brand that represents the same commitment to quality and excellence as Ralph Lauren."

In designing a collection, Mr. Lauren tells a story through his clothes by drawing inspiration from everything around him, including MASTERPIECE series such as Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. He has always had a true appreciation for the heritage and romance of England and reflects this through his fall 2012 collection which is about modern glamour inspired by timeless character and refined elegance.

Ralph Lauren's first on-air sponsorship messages will begin on September 30, with the broadcast of Upstairs Downstairs. The company is planning to create unique spots for the various titles in the MASTERPIECE series.

Recently celebrating its 40th year on PBS, MASTERPIECE is enjoying a significant surge in popularity. Seventeen million viewers tuned into the second season of Downton Abbey, and the viewership for the 2012 MASTERPIECE Classic season showed a 27% gain over 2011.

Fall titles include new episodes of Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh, and Upstairs Downstairs, introducing Alex Kingston to the cast. The third season of Downton Abbey begins in January 2013.

Ralph Lauren joins current MASTERPIECE corporate funder Viking River Cruises. Funding for the series also is provided by public television viewers, with additional support from contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series' future.

MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer.

Downton Abbey, Season 3 is a Carnival/Masterpiece Co-production, in association with NBCUniversal. Sherlock, Series 2 is a Hartswood Films Production for BBC Wales, co-produced with MASTERPIECE. Upstairs Downstairs Season 2 is a BBC/MASTERPIECE Co-Production. Wallander III is a Left Bank Pictures, Yellow Bird, TKBC series co-produced with BBC, Degeto, MASTERPIECE, TV4, Riga Film Fund and FiSK.

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