Dowager Countess' Season 4 Fate Decided! Plus Watch 'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Before Your Friends
Dowager Countess' Season 4 Fate Decided! Plus Watch 'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Before Your Friends
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
If you were worried about the fate of Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess going into Downton Abbey's fourth season, I can put you out of your misery: she'll be just fine.


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Legendary actress Maggie Smith decided to sign on for at least one more season of witticism, giant hats, and withering looks. Which is good news, because what is Downton Abbey without Violet Crawley's razor sharp tongue and disapproval of the poor?

TVLine got the straight scoop from executive producer Gareth Neame over the weekend during Golden Globe festivities, where Smith picked up another statue for her acting work.

While most of the cast had decided whether or not they would continue into the fourth season, Smith was the last holdout on signing a contract to continue with the show. But it looks like we can anticipate more cutting remarks when the show returns to both UK and American airwaves.

If Smith had decided not to sign on for another year, she would have been the third major cast member to depart going into the fourth season. (No spoilers here! In a few short weeks we'll all be able to cry it out together.)

However if you can't wait for PBS to air those heartbreaking episodes of Downton Abbey's fourth season you might just be in luck!

According to BBC News Apple's iTunes store will be offering the last three episodes of Downton Abbey even before they air on PBS. These last three episodes will be available on January 29, a full three weeks before they'll show on the traditional airwaves in the States. There is one catch though: if you want the episodes early you'll have to chip in for the full Downton Abbey season pass.

But hey, if you're into watching your Downton on a big screen TV instead of your laptop the complete third season DVD will be available to purchase on January 29 as well. Making watching the show on television as it airs more or less obsolete for anything other than live tweeting purposes.

Between this and PBS' decision to lump several episodes together for no apparent reason despite the show pulling down record ratings for the network I can officially say I don't understand anything about the scheduling of Downton Abbey.

But hey, more Dowager Countess next year!

Are you excited about more Maggie Smith next season? (What am I saying, of course you are!) Are you planning on buying the DVD, watching on iTunes, or waiting until it airs on TV? Share in the comments!

Want to keep up with all the dirt upstairs and downstairs? Then do as the Dowager Countess would and add Downton Abbey to your very own watch-list so you'll never miss a dinner party. Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.

(Image courtesy of PBS)