Reddick - who played Cedric Daniels on the cop drama - told Zap2it that the show paved the way for Downton's "complex" storylines.
"The legacy of The Wire is tricky," he said. "It changed television in that it set the bar to a whole new level - a level that I think has never been done before."
The actor continued: "I also think that something like Downton Abbey - which is so complex and so rich in characters - in some ways its popularity is possibly due to The Wire. People realised that this can be done and that people want to watch."
Downton Abbey recently received a total of 16 nods in the 2012 Emmy nominations, including one in the category of 'Best Drama'.
Despite critical acclaim, The Wire never won an Emmy award, but did scoop a writing nomination in 2005 and again in 2008.
> Downton Abbey first series three pictures: Shirley MacLaine with cast
> Downton Abbey series three spoilers revealed: Financial woes dominate