WASHINGTON—According to a report from the U.S. Department of Education released Thursday, watching a single episode of the British TV series Downton Abbey is the cultural and educational equivalent of reading an entire book. "It's a period piece with British accents and drama that hinges on each character's place within an aristocratic peerage system, so needless to say, viewing one show from beginning to end is basically the same as reading a book," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "Also you really have to pay attention to the storylines, so it's also like reading in that respect. And it's not as if you can stop watching Downton Abbey for a while, come back to it, and remember exactly what's going on. You'd probably have to start over from the very beginning, just like you do with a book." Duncan then excused himself from the press conference so he could go home and watch a couple books before he went to bed.