The fourth season of "Downton Abbey" just came to an end in the U.K. -- though the all-important Christmas special, which has been known to contain major twists, has yet to air. With it has come the announcement that the hit period drama has been renewed for a fifth season, to air in the U.S. on "Masterpiece" on PBS.
Season four of Julian Fellowes' series was the highest-rated drama in the U.K. in 2013, and it has been a ratings phenomenon here as well, the most-watched drama in the history of PBS. Gareth Neame, executive producer of "Downton Abbey," said in the announcement that "Audiences have enjoyed their regular Sunday evening visits back to 'Downton' once again this autumn and we are thrilled to produce a new series of the show next year. We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy played out by some of the most iconic characters on television. All the actors and makers of the show continue to be humbled by the extraordinary audience response and want to take the show from strength to strength next year.”
"Downton Abbey," a Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production, will kick off its season four run in the U.S. on PBS on Sunday, January 5th. Here's the trailer: