01/07/2013 02:34 pm ET Updated Jan 07, 2013

Why Does Laura Linney Introduce 'Downton Abbey'?

Every episode Laura Linney introduces "Downton Abbey" ... but why? The Huffington Post took that question to Masterpiece, "Downton Abbey's" producers.

"Alistair Cooke, the longtime host of Masterpiece Theatre, used to describe himself as the headwaiter, leading guests to a fabulous meal," Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece executive producer, said in a statement. "We feel that hosts create an atmosphere and provide context for the programs that follow. When Masterpiece did its rebranding in 2008, the series was divided into three seasons. We decided that having a different host for each season would help to differentiate the programming for the audience. Laura Linney is an elegant and classic as the dramas she introduces."

Watch Laura Linney introduce the "Downton Abbey" Season 3 premiere below.

"Downton Abbey" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on PBS.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 3, Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.