Downton Abbey fans in the United States are looking forward to season 5 premiering in January, but that’s not the only thing to get excited about: the period drama has just been renewed for a sixth season.
While it is unknown how many episodes will be produced, it will most likely stay in line with previous seasons.
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“We have had an amazing reaction to the storylines, acting and production values of Downton Abbey this year and the whole team is thrilled to be moving ahead with a new season of the show,” Downton producer Gareth Neame said in a statement. “This will provide audiences with a fresh opportunity to see what will befall our much loved characters.”
Steve November, Director of Drama Commissioning for ITV, the network that airs the series in the UK, added, “It is fantastic that Downton continues to be such a phenomenon — still the most popular drama on ITV in its fifth series — and we are thrilled to have commissioned a sixth series. We don’t know yet what [creator] Julian [Fellowes] has planned, but we are looking forward to working with him, the fantastic cast and Carnival again and have no doubt series six will be unmissable.”
Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO, says that “At its heart, television is about storytelling, and Downton Abbey is certainly storytelling at its finest. Downton Abbey and the Crawley family have kept us on the edge of our seats as they navigate through some of the biggest moments of the 20th century.”
Downton Abbey season 5 is currently airing in the UK, where it is averaging 10.4 million viewers with each episode. The season finale will air on November 9, and the annual Christmas special airs on December 25.
In the United States, season 4 averaged 13.2 million viewers, which PBS says is the top drama of all time for the network.
The series, following the lives of the Crawley family and their servants, stars Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael and Maggie Smith, among many others.
Downton Abbey season 5 premieres Sunday, January 4 at 9pm on PBS, and concludes on March 1.
(Image courtesy of PBS)