'Downton Abbey' returns Sunday on PBS as breakout hit

CREDIT: Carnival Film & Television

Today’s in-and-out glance at the pop-culture world finds the return of a breakout hit, Jimmy Kimmel groovin’ with Rolling Stone, JWoww, other things, and the mystery music video.

DOWNTON ABBEY: Unexpected hit is back for more, per the New York Times, “A lot of time and discussion have been spent deciphering the extraordinary success of “Downton Abbey,” but it’s actually pretty simple. This series about British aristocrats and their servants is “Fifty Shades of Grey”: soft-core pornography, but fixated on breeding and heritage rather than kinky sex. . . And “Downton Abbey,” which was supposed to last only one season, is beginning its third on PBS on Sunday.”

OF A JOKER, A SMOKER: And a midnight toker, per Rolling Stone, “In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Contributing Editor Jonah Weiner smokes weed with Jimmy Kimmel and chats with the late-night host about his promotion to the coveted 11:30 p.m. time slot (on ABC) , his undying hatred of Jay Leno and why he sees Jimmy Fallon as a "worthy competitor." Here's an excerpt from the latest cover story.”

BOX-OFFICE BRIEF: Money rolling in for a certain movie, per The Wrap, “"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will not suffer much of a post-holiday hangover this weekend as the fantasy adventure will continue to rule over the domestic box office, according to analysts' tracking. The prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy will rack up an estimated $19.8 million, which will leave it with a stateside haul of more than $260 million.”

BABY GOT BACK: But not THAT much, per E!, “It is Jenni "JWoww" Farley's duty to defend that booty. The Jersey Shore star recorded a Keek video which she released to fans that showed the reality star in her lace underwear—yup, no pants—so that she could show off her backside. A pretty unflattering photo of JWoww's junk in the trunk from MTV's New Year's Show in Times Square hit the Internet, and now the celeb wants everyone to know that it's not an accurate depiction of what she's working with.”

MODERN SCHOOLING: Well, it’s new to her, per TMZ, “Ariel Winter's about to do something she's never done before -- attend high school like a normal kid, and get this ... she can't wait to go ... TMZ has learned. The "Modern Family" star is now enrolled in a private school in the L.A. area and will start attending classes later this month ... sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ. It's a big change for Ariel because we're told she's always been privately tutored.”

SKINS-COWBOYS A HIT: And then some, per Deadline, “The final ratings for last Sunday’s season finale of NBC‘s Sunday Night Football are in: The Cowboys-Redskins game was seen by 30.3 million viewers to become the most-watched and highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on the network.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video:

--Skip Wood (Follow me on Twitter @DaybreakSkip)