Parks and Recreation (The Doormat) — Poor Lady Edith, like Jerry Gergich on Parks and Recreation, is well intentioned (most of the time), never does anything right, and is always blamed for everything. She has ONE JOB TO DO (get married), and she consistently bungles it. DAMNIT, Lady Edith.
How I Met Your Mother (Can’t Keep a Secret) — Like Sons of Anarchy, like Lily on How I Met Your Mother, and like Virginia in Raising Hope (or even Chandler on Friends), NOBODY can keep a goddamn secret on Downton. You’d think, at least, that characters would be able to hold on to a secret for a few episodes, or even scenes, but no: Secrets always seem to come out five minutes after they’re disclosed. And yet the characters on Downton never learn to keep their mouths shut and trust no one. They may as well put all the secrets on a record, and play it for the whole cast, because they’re all going to find out anyway.
Scrubs (The Jerk with the Heart of Gold) — The Dowager (Maggie Smith) is like the British spiritual ancestor of Dr. Cox on Scrubs: She will cut you with a string of insults, but when it comes down to it, she always stands behind and supports those in her family or in her employ. Also, like Dr. Cox, the Dowager is a goddamn national treasure. (Also, good news: Maggie Smith has been officially confirmed for season four!)
Boardwalk Empire (Backdrop) — Much of Downton Abbey is set during the same timeline as Boardwalk Empire, so World War I often plays a direct or indirect role in the series. The period costumes, like in Boardwalk, are also a major selling point for the show, although the VFX budget in Downton is obviously not that of Boardwalk. Also, in Boardwalk, they sent hardened killers to war; in Downton, they send posh Aristocrats to war WITH THEIR VALETS. It’s no wonder the British always needed our help to get out of world wards.
Also, the two shows share Charlie Cox in common.
Breaking Bad (Purple) — You know how you almost never find Marie from Breaking Bad when she’s not wearing purple? The same can be said of The Dowager on Downton Abbey. In fact, the Dowager wears purple because it signifies royalty; Marie wears purple because she’s delusional enough to believe that she should be associated with nobility.