'Downton Abbey' Roundup: Season 3 Revelations from TCA, Plus a Rumored Departure
'Downton Abbey' Roundup: Season 3 Revelations from TCA, Plus a Rumored Departure
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Downton Abbey may have wrapped up its second season on a rather happy note but fans shouldn't expect this bliss to carry over the next season. As revealed in the recent Television Critics Association's press tour, season 3 will feature major financial problems, a rocky relationship, as well as the introduction of a worthy foe for the Dowager Countess.  

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Downton Abbey season 3. Proceed with caution!

Here's what you need to know about Downton Abbey season 3: 

  • At the TCA press tour, a shocking trailer for the new season was shown for journalists featuring Robert Crawley emotionally confessing to his wife Cora that he has lost all the family money. 
  • While Mary and Matthew should be busy planning their wedding, they're also busy arguing especially when Mary accuses him of disloyalty.
  • Season 3 will stretch two years from the beginning of the 1920s. According series creator Julian Fellowes, "This season is about the recovery from the war. There were those few years where people were trying to decide [if] the world was going to go back? Is it going to be the same as it was before? Was the future going to be completely different? That's the theme of the [season]."
  • Shirley Maclaine has been added to the cast as Cora's mother Martha, who, according to Fellowes, should "reminds us that Cora's upbringing was not the same as Robert's. Cora is less afraid of the future than Robert is. She's much less afraid of change. She's less afraid of expressing that... If anyone understands the world that's coming, it's Cora."
  • Check out Martha's first encounter with the Dowager Countess in this clip, which aired as part of the American Film Institute's 40th Life Achievement Award ceremony honoring MacLaine. 

  • There's a rumor going on about Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess, possibly leaving Downton Abbey at the end of the upcoming season and, unfortunately, the decision is not up to Fellowes. "I can't tell you, 'Oh, yes, she's definitely contracted [for Season 4] -- because she isn't," he told TV Line. "With Maggie, you never know. Other [actors] sign on for the next series and they sign for this and they sign for that, but she doesn't. She stays her own person. But as far as I'm concerned, I hope she stays with the show until Downton falls down." 

Downton Abbey returns in January 2013 on PBS. Set a reminder with the free BuddyTV Guide app so you don't miss the premiere.

(Image courtesy of PBS)