- Associated Press - Monday, September 10, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) - PBS’ “Masterpiece” drama showcase is getting a fashionable new supporter.

The public TV program said Monday that the Ralph Lauren Corp. will become a national sponsor, marking the company’s first TV sponsorship.

“Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton called Lauren’s support a tribute to the program, home of the hit British period drama “Downton Abbey.”

During last February’s New York Fashion Week, Lauren presented his fall 2012 collection to music from “Downton Abbey,” telling The Associated Press that he’s “always loved the heritage and romance of England.”

Lauren’s first on-air display of sponsorship begins Sept. 30 with the series “Upstairs Downstairs,” which the company called another source of fashion inspiration.

Ralph Lauren joins current “Masterpiece” corporate funder Viking River Cruises. Viewer donations and the Masterpiece Trust also help fund the program.

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