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August 30, 2013

Downton Abbey Extras - a video, car chases, zombies and vampires



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VETERAN actress Phyllis Logan reckons Downton Abbey’s continuing success is down to people being fed up with “car chases, zombies and vampires”.

The 57-year-old, from Paisley, has played busybody housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton from the start and is back for the fourth series, which starts next month.
She describes the period drama, which has become a hit in the UK and America, as an “upmarket soap” that has become popular as a way of escaping for viewers dealing with the economic recession.
Phyllis said: “They want to go back to old times. Maybe that happens in times of austerity – people want to hark back to what they perceive as being a golden age. I mean it wasn’t, it was s*** but it’s made to look lovely in Downton.
“Downton is an upmarket soap. I shouldn’t say that but it is, with nice costumes and an incredible attention to detail. You don’t see so much of that nowadays, well, certainly with modern drama.
“I think maybe people are getting fed up with car chases, zombies and vampires.”
Written by Julian Fellowes and starring Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith, Brendan Coyle and Michelle Dockery, the series follows the Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era and the goings-on at their Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey.
It’s now watched in more than 100 countries and has made many of the cast famous on both sides of the pond. But not Phyllis, who lives in Brighton with her husband, the actor Kevin McNally, who played Joshamee Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and their son David, 17.
She was already a household name thanks to a starring role in Lovejoy as Lady Jane Felsham.
But she’s still amazed at the attention Downton gets and that she ever gets recognised, given how different she looks in real life – glam rather than glum.
Despite appearing very different from her stern-looking character, with her lightened hair bouncing around her shoulders and a pink summer dress, it seems she still gets noticed. Phyllis said: “Here, they usually say, ‘That’s a lovely show, thanks very much’ and then just scuttle off. But in the States it’s much more upfront and they really like you to know just how much they love it. And they know everything about everybody’s character.”
The actress has been working on Downton since February but filming wraps in a couple of weeks.
She said: “We’re all sort of looking forward to that, even though we love it and it’s been great. But we’re all looking forward to finishing because it’s been quite intensive.”
While the younger actors in the show may be looking for their next job, Phyllis admitted she’ll be looking forward to getting back to being a real housewife rather than a screen housekeeper.
She laughed: “I’m probably going to do nothing for a bit and just catch up with friends and sort out some domestic rubbish at home.
“It’s going to be great.”
Despite spending much of the past three years with the same cast, the party for the end of filming won’t be at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, which doubles up as Downton.
“Oh God no,” Phyllis roared. “We want to get as far away from that as possible.
“No, we’re going to a party venue.
“It’ll be fun. We don’t tend to hang out together after filming, only if we’re at Highclere, where a lot of us will chill out together.
“And that’s nice, actually.
“I enjoy doing that but not everybody is always there, like Sophie (McShera, who plays assistant cook Daisy Mason) is never up at the castle, like maybe once or twice a season.
“But when we’re in the studios in Ealing in London, because we all live in London, most of us, we tend to just drift off home because they are long days. But we do meet up, like there’s the wrap party soon and we’ll all go and dance and be jolly at that.”
After the Christmas episode drama, which saw the death of Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens), the fourth series begins six months later in 1922 with Lady Mary (Dockery) adjusting to being a widow and a new mum. She is also being encouraged by her grandmother, the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie, to start managing the estate alongside her brother-in-law Tom Branson (Allen Leech).
Sadly for Phyllis, there still isn’t any romance between her character Mrs Hughes and butler Mr Carson (Jim Carter) – although she is thinking of the birds and the bees. Sort of.
Phyllis laughed: “It would be nice for her to have a bit of a passion with somebody – whether it be man, woman or dog.
“Or if she gets a canary even.
“Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson still have a very nice working relationship. We still have occasional spats here and there. We still have a lot of respect for one another. And we occasionally get to drink a glass of sherry together of an evening.” Laughing, she added: “Not as often as I would like.”
Phyllis is still keeping any storylines under wraps but reveals that there won’t be a continuation of Mrs Hughes’ cancer scare.
The actress insisted that her character didn’t have cancer and it was a “figment of my imagination”.
One new character for the fourth series will be singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who plays real-life opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.
And Phyllis admitted her singing brought the tough old film crew to tears.
She said: “What was extraordinary was all of these big, butch, hairy?bottomed sparks and people like that were wiping away tears after listening.
“They were so overcome because she’s just a wonderful performer.”
But then that’s why Downton has been so successful. Despite it featuring posh people, it also has working class folk and shows that, despite the differences, there are many similarities between rich and not so rich.
Phyllis, who was raised in the Renfrewshire town of Johnstone, was also overcome during the second series of Downton, which focused on the Great War both at home and abroad.
She said: “My grandfather had been killed in the First World War when my own dad, his son, was a baby.  “I thought the whole war thing in Downton was done very well, and it was quite pertinent and relevant to a lot of people and not excluding me and my family.”

info by Rick Fulton of from The Daily Record in the UK August 24, 2013. 


August 27, 2013

Lost Camera

This is hilarious!


August 25, 2013

First Downton Abbey Season 4 TV Teaser & Updates

It's short but.... AT MY AGE, ONE MUST RATION ONE'S EXCITEMENT

'You have a straightforward choice before you... 
You must choose either death... or life' 
men of downton abbey

Downton Abbey: No more shock exits

FANS of Downton Abbey were left reeling by the shocking deaths of two main characters during the last series.

Viewers-are-waiting-to-see-how-Lady-Mary-copes-after-her-husband-s-shock-death-last-season
Viewers are waiting to see how Lady Mary copes after her husband's shock death last season
Now producers of the award-winning costume drama are ensuring there are no more unexpected exits by locking the stars into two-year contracts.
They are taking no chances ahead of the fourth series, starting next month, after being forced to kill off dashing Matthew Crawley weeks after Lady Sybil died in childbirth.
As revealed by the Daily Express, Downton’s creator Julian Fellowes was as disappointed as his viewers that Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, died in the Christmas Day special. Yet he had no choice but to kill off the character when Stevens handed in his notice to pursue a film career in the US.
Executive producer Gareth Neame said: “We have now signed up the main cast members until series five, so there won’t be any more shock exits for a while.”
Key characters including Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham, Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora, Lily James as Lady Rose and Michelle Dockery as now widowed Lady Mary have signed contracts binding them to the show for at least two series.
Maggie Smith, who plays the iconic Dowager Countess, is also reported to have signed the long-term deal despite persistent rumours that her character will die.
A preview of the first episode of the new series garnered rave reviews last week, and the stars, including Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael, celebrated with a wrap party aboard HMS President in London.
Downton Abbey is Britain’s most successful TV export, with a global audience of 120 million.
downton abbey, highclere castle, house, stars, carnarvon, season, series, new, grantham, itv, filming, deaths, new, season, series, premierePhyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes) and Sophie McShera (Daisy) look a little different out of costume
There is only one option – the Grim Reaper
Julian Fellowes
In an interview this weekend, Fellowes said he tried to postpone Matthew’s death to the beginning of the fourth series so the Christmas episode would end happily with the arrival of his and Lady Mary’s baby.
“But Dan was set on a clean break at the end of series three and he said, ‘I really feel it’s right for me to go and finish now’,” he added “Then you have a character who is happily married with a new baby and is heir to the estate but is not willing ever to be seen again.
“There is only one option – the Grim Reaper.” The Oscar-winning screenwriter went on: “I don’t want to pretend he did anything out of order; he definitely did not.
“He gave his notice but it caught us on the hop.” Fellowes also confirmed that Dame Maggie, 78, will appear in every episode of series four, saying: “Reports of her death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Welsh actor Tom Cullen, 28, who has joined the cast as the family’s friend Lord Anthony Gillingham, is enjoying Dame Maggie’s sense of humour. “She’s just the most humble woman,” he said. “And she’s so, so funny.”
Info from UK Express magazine 

and finally, one more interesting little story about what is going on behind the scenes at "Downton":
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Lady Carnarvon banishes dogs from Downton Abbey

Owner of Highclere calls time on stars' pets 'running riot around the castle

The stunning halls of Downton Abbey - properly known as Highclere Castle - have seen their fair share of upstairs-downstairs drama.
But the latest spat to rock the stately pile involves its canine occupants.
Sources have revealed that the cast of the award-winning ITV show have been banned from bringing their dogs to work, after they ran riot around the house and grounds.
Hounded out: Lady Carnarvon, 49, owns three spaniels and two labradors of her own, and found the additional dogs too much to handle
Hounded out: Lady Carnarvon, 49, owns three spaniels and two labradors of her own, and found the additional dogs too much to handle
Dogs at war: The Earl of Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville, pictured with the Crawley family's pet
Dogs at war: The Earl of Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville, pictured with the Crawley family's pet.  The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, who own Highclere, took the step when the number of on-set pets got out of hand.  Lady Carnarvon, 49, owns three spaniels and two labradors of her own, and reportedly found the furor caused by additional dogs too much to bear.



A source on the show said: 'As the cast spend so much time filming at Highclere Castle, a lot of them bring their dogs with them. Lady Carnarvon imposed a ban because she doesn’t like the dogs going in certain areas in case they cause a mess. 
'One of her own labradors gets jealous when rival dogs are on set, which is believed to be another reason.'
Britain's best export? Downton Abbey, soon to return for a new series, has gathered over 120 million viewers worldwide
Britain's best export? Downton Abbey, soon to return for a new series, has gathered over 120 million viewers worldwide

But it seems some of the actors are unwilling to see their furry sidekicks hounded out. 
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, 69, who plays Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba, admits: 'I took my two dogs along and Lady Carnarvon didn’t want those anywhere near the place, but anyway I did.'
Ed Speelers, who plays dashing downstairs footman Jimmy, is also on the naughty list. 'I’ve got a border collie who ran off and up to the part of the house you're not allowed to go to,' he says. 
'I had to run after him and pick him up by the scruff of the neck because he was getting mud everywhere.'
Canine chaos: Frank, a bouncy young border collie, has caused mayhem behind the scenes for his master, Ed Speelers
Canine chaos: Frank, a bouncy young border collie, has caused mayhem behind the scenes for his master, Ed Speelers

Despite his crimes, Ed hopes Downton's writers might one day find a part for his wayward young pet, who the actor named Frank.

If he needs some lessons in manners, the excitable hound could take a cue from Lesley Nicol's dogs.
Single... but maybe not for long: Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, with baby George
Single... but maybe not for long: Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, with baby George

The actress, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, reportedly brought her own Tibetan terrier and a rescued miniature poodle to the set without the slightest mishap. 
Collie Frank behaved brilliantly the first day Ed took him to work, but incurred the wrath of Jim Carter, who plays butler Mr Carson, by chewing the carpets in Hugh Bonneville [the Earl of Grantham]'s dressing room.

Ed explains: 'He had bits of carpet dangling out of his mouth and I said, "Frank, you’ve ruined my career. Hugh plays my boss, so you’ve blown it for me." 

'Frank just sat there and licked his lips while I scrubbed away the mud he'd spread around and pushed the sofa into a position that would hide the damage. Now everyone's sending me up because I was acting like a real footman.'
The fourth series of Downton Abbey will return to UK screens in September, and will be set in the roaring Twenties. 

With the Crawley family still in mourning after the demise of Matthew Crawley, the heir to the estate, fans can expect a sombre opening. 

But single mother Lady Mary may not be left alone for long, thanks to the arrival of two eligible aristocrats as potential suitors.

Tom Cullen will join the cast as Lord Anthony Gillingham, while Charles Blake, played by Julian Ovenden, will also vie for her hand. 
As well as being the jewel in ITV's crown, Downton is officially Britain's most successful TV export, with over 120 million viewers worldwide.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396579/Lady-Carnarvon-banishes-dogs-Downton-Abbey-Owner-Highclere-calls-time-stars-pets-running-riot-castle.html#ixzz2d1jOjsu0 

Quotes I LOVED this week

<3Definetlyhmmmmm... true, truewisdom.Heard her speak last night at a Youth Fireside in Las Vegas - AMAZING!!! (Al Fox - great use of mint green and a dead on message @A L Fox)Law of AttractionAmen! God
A good #quote to keep in mind sometimes!

August 13, 2013

Downton Abbey First Look at Season 4

Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 1  Reviews

lots of praise from the advanced press screenings



 It was Downton Abbey media day in the UK for series 4. 
We were delighted with all the coverage, news and photos revealed.
One of our most favorite things are the reviews and reactions from the media to the screening of the entire first episode in series 4. The reviews are amazing in the details some of them give so be sure to read the full review if you want to know, that is.


Here are a few we noticed in particular.

ITV/Nick Briggs/Carnival
When the widow Lady Mary examines the prospects for her younger sister's latest suitor, in the opening episode of Downton Abbey's fourth series, she sighs: "He's not bad looking and he's still alive, which puts him two steps ahead of most men of our generation."


Read more in The Independent
Many critics had warned that writer Julian Fellowes should quit while Downton Abbey was at its peak. Was he wrong to ignore them?


The answer is plain in the first seconds of the opening, 90-minute episode, scheduled for broadcast next month. We see the stately home in darkness, on a moonless night. Its towers and turrets are shrouded in heavy gloom. Only at one window is a light glimmering. It’s a perfectly composed, cinematic shot, declaring all of Lord Fellowes’ intentions from the outset — this series of Downton is about the light in the darkness, the ray of hope when everything seems lost.
For a programme that reinvented the old-fashioned concept of Upstairs Downstairs, with light stories woven into the main plot lines and plenty of humour to keep audiences smiling, that’s a bold ambition.

But it’s one that this cast is more than equal to achieving. Michelle Dockery as the widowed Lady Mary, mother of a baby just six months old, is heart-rending as her emotions struggle to break through her cold, repressive wall of reserve.


It seems to hurt her even to breathe: she is, she admits, living in the world of the dead.


Read more at the Daily Mail.

Downton Abbey will break from tradition when the new series opens later this year.
Not for series four the Labrador's bottom in the opening credits. This time we begin with the midnight flit of one of the main characters. The servants are seen scurrying to and fro, gossiping about the sudden departure as the kitchen buzzes to the sound of a new-fangled electric food mixer: the unstoppable force of progress making itself felt despite the Crawley family's continuing troubles. 
It is 1922 and the family are still black-clad and mourning Downton's recently deceased heir, Matthew Crawley. We rejoin them six months after the car crash that killed off the heart-throb husband of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) during the show's Christmas day episode, which was watched by over seven million viewers. We know six months have passed because the dowager countess (Maggie Smith) is informed that a grave takes six months to settle before a headstone can be placed over it.
Exposition continues to play a large part in Julian Fellowes oddly anachronistic dialogue. At several points in the first episode characters explain that they "choose life", must "sort him out" or that they "had a hunch" about something. Nevertheless, the impeccable timing of Smith's verbal smackdowns continues to buoy proceedings with moment after moment of sublime comic satisfaction.
Read more at The Guardian.



Indeed, as a piece of TV craft, Downton Abbey really does seem to have turned the clock back: this new series much more closely – and welcomely – resembles that glorious first season, which made itself instantly the most popular TV drama in Britain back in 2010.
These are stories about a family, and stories about its servants. There is love both spoken and concealed; there are new allegiances, new rivalries upstairs and down, old scores to settle, the reappearance of an old flame. Even the dowager countess, still played to withering perfection by Dame Maggie Smith, has a surprising new cause to champion. The spice and intrigue comes from picking out the glorious detail of English country life in the early Twenties – not from the appearance of deformed foreign cousins, spines broken in the war, and miraculous medical recoveries.
Read more at The Telegraph 


What no hounds bum?? Maybe it's just the first episode?! Also, now we know what The Dowager & Mrs. Crawley were doing at the cemetery 6 months after Matthew's death, they were looking at his headstone.

August 12, 2013

Downton Abbey introduces Matthew Crawley's Son

From The Daily Mail - UK


Downton's twincredible double act: First 'interview' with show's new stars who demand Haribo sweets, milk at 7am on the dot and endless naps between takes


Identical twins Logan and Cole Weston have joined the cast of the blockbuster period drama – but you'll never see them on screen together.

The twin brothers will share the task of playing little George Crawley, the son of Lady Mary and her late husband Matthew – who met a sticky end in a car crash in last season's Christmas finale.

Cheeky: Twins Cole (left) and Logan (right) Weston who play baby George in Downton Abbey come from the village of Meathop in Cumbria and began filming when they were just six months old

And the twins are not the only young stars set to charm viewers. Also joining the action is bubbly two-year-old Ava Mann, who will play baby Sybbie, daughter of tragic Lady Sybil who died in childbirth in series three.

Despite their ages, the trio playing Downton's children have been cosseted on set – just like the adult stars, such as Hollywood diva Shirley MacLaine, who plays US socialite Martha Levinson.

The six-month filming marathon revolved around the eating, sleeping and resting habits of its diminutive divas.

The producers also had to provide Haribo sweets and milk at 7am on the dot to keep their young stars happy.

The twins come from the village of Meathop in Cumbria and began filming when they were just six months old. They will celebrate their first birthday later this month.

Charmer: Also joining the action is bubbly two-year-old Ava Mann, who will play baby Sybbie, daughter of tragic Lady Sybil who died in childbirth in series three.  Their mother Charlotte, 23, said: 'They had their own trailer with "Baby George" pinned on the door. Inside there was a TV, a cot, a sofa and some toys. 

'Everything was done to make them comfortable. The days they filmed they'd have their breakfast milk bottle at 7am, nap for an hour between 10am and 11am and have their lunch at noon.

'Then they'd have another nap, have their tea at 4pm and be in bed by 7pm.

'So the filming had to take place between 11am and 12pm or between 3pm and 4pm when they weren't napping or feeding.

'Each scene would last no more than 20 minutes to half-an-hour.
'They didn't have any make-up but they had their own little baby George romper suit, three sets of clothes, and some bonnets. That was it. The only problem was that they kept growing so fast the production had to keep making them new clothes.'


The twins were on set for 11 days. Television rules forbid small children from working more than two hours a day on set.

And after every 30 minutes of 'acting' they must be rested for 15 minutes. This explains why twins are so popular in casting.

'If one of them got upset or fell asleep at the wrong time we could just swap them,' chuckled proud Charlotte.

'We chose whichever baby was happiest at the time. It turned out that Logan did most of the photo-shoots and Cole did most of the acting as he was usually the most contented.

'Logan was teething so he was very grumpy during lots of the shooting.

'The cast were marvellous – particularly Michelle Dockery, who plays their mother Lady Mary and was the only one of the cast who could tell the boys apart.'

Charlotte and her husband David – who say they have no acting talent between them – signed the boys up to a theatre agency 'on a whim' when they were just two months old.

'Somebody had said to me that they are always looking for twins in TV and they are very cute with their big blue eyes and mass of hair, so we thought we would give it a go,' Charlotte said.

'But we were a bit shocked and panicked when we realised they had landed the role of baby George.

Schedule: The six-month filming marathon revolved around the eating, sleeping and resting habits of its diminutive divas

'The whole set of Highclere was so pristine and everyone was in such lovely dresses that my main worry was, "Oh please don't let them be sick on the clothes or the carpet!"

'But they weren't. They were so good.'

Meanwhile, Ava, from Kent, is the daughter of 28-year-old school dance instructor Chané Mann. She and her civil servant husband signed Ava up to an agent a few months before she won the role, after people had commented on her confidence and natural charm.

'Her trailer had "Sybbie" on it,' said Chané.

'After we drove to Highclere she would have to rest and have a snack – she always asked for mild cheddar cheese and Haribos and still mineral water.

'The trailer was amazing – it had brown leather sofas, a shower and little kitchen.'

Asked about Downton, Ava giggles and simply says: 'It was fun.'

For her mother, that remains one of the most important ingredients in the experience. And despite her starring role, Ava's little feet are still firmly on the ground.

Her mother says she will be allowed to watch Downton – but it's unlikely to replace her current TV favourite in her affections. She much prefers Peppa Pig.


August 11, 2013

August 08, 2013

Big Brother Australia - Episodes 7, 8 & 9

Big Brother Australia




Latest Pics from the set of Downton Abbey 4

Downton Abbey fans were treated to  doom and gloom last year as one character after another passed away.  But in the next series it seems there will finally be some light at the end of the tunnel.
As the cast of the hit ITV drama were spotted filming in Bampton in Oxfordshire yesterday, one of its main characters appears to be on the cusp of a new romance following the death of his wife.

Happy days: The new series of Downton Abbey looks as though it will offer some light at the end of the tunnel with the introduction of a new live-in governess, played by Daisy Lewis

Former chauffeur Tom Branson, played by Allen Leech, was left heartbroken when his wife Lady Sybil passed away in childbirth, leaving him to care for their daughter.  But in the next series it is rumored he will strike up a relationship with his live-in governess, to be played by British actress Daisy Lewis.

It is the first time Miss Lewis, 28, has been seen playing her new character, who has not yet been named. The actress is a virtual unknown – her previous TV roles being minor parts in Doctor Who and detective drama Lewis.





















Getting along famously: The pair were seen chatting and laughing as they filmed the new scenes, suggesting she will break the formal bonds normally established between employers and domestics in the strictly hierarchical series

She and Mr Leech, 32, were seen chatting and laughing as they filmed the new scenes, suggesting she will break the formal bonds normally established between employers and domestics in the strictly hierarchical series.

It was recently reported Miss Lewis will become one of Downton Abbey’s main characters. A source said: ‘She wowed producers in her audition and they are delighted to have secured such a brilliant young actress.


Hard at work: Joining the pair on set was actress Penelope Wilton, 67, who plays Isobel Crawley

‘Her romance with Tom will be one of the main storylines of the series. He will begin to develop feelings for her and they start a secret affair.’  Joining the pair on set was actress Penelope Wilton, 67, who plays Isobel Crawley.  Millions of viewers were left stunned in last year’s Christmas special when her son Matthew was sensationally killed off in a car crash after welcoming his first child into the world.  But judging by her smiles it seems she too has cast off her grief and made a new start with her life.



No more doom and gloom: Branson was left heartbroken when his wife Lady Sybil passed away in childbirth, leaving him to care for their daughter, while Isobel Crawley's son Matthew died in the last series of Downton.

August 07, 2013

The Ladies of Downton Abbey

Lady Mary copes with grief, suitors in Downton

 panel discussion from PBS Summer Press Tour

Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Phyllis Logan, Joanne Froggatt and Sophie McShera pose for photographers before the panel for "Downton Abbey" during the PBS sessions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California
I didn't recognize all of them at first!  
Cast members (L-R) Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Phyllis Logan, Joanne Froggatt and Sophie McShera pose for photographers before the panel for "Downton Abbey" during the PBS sessions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 6, 2013. 

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Lady Mary will be mired in grief as season four of "Downton Abbey" begins, mourning the loss of her husband, Matthew.

But a string of suitors awaits when she's ready to live again, said Michelle Dockery, who plays Mary in the hit drama that will return to PBS' "Masterpiece" next January.

"She has more than one love interest," Dockery said. "She's kind of slowly throughout the series coming back to real life, and of course it's important for her to eventually move on."

All of those men are, she noted with satisfaction, handsome.


"That was stipulated by you," executive producer Gareth Neame said, dryly.

He and several cast members including Dockery and Laura Carmichael, who plays Mary's sister, Edith, attended a Television Critics Association news conference Tuesday evening to promote the show.

Mary's husband, played by Dan Stevens, was killed in a car crash just after welcoming the couple's newborn son, George, in last season's finale.

The fourth season of "Downton Abbey," which follows the lives of the family and servants living in an English stately house, will include newcomers Paul Giamatti as an American relation and opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa.

The drama series, which started in 1912 and has been moving the calendar forward, is up to the early 1920s and reflects the world's increasing modernity. A fifth season is planned, Neame said, who suggested there could be more to come.

"The show is so popular around the world, it's beloved and it's in fine form," he said. But he said he couldn't envision following the characters as far as World War II.

Earlier, PBS said it is standing firm against airing "Downton Abbey" simultaneously with the drama's U.K. run that begins several months earlier.

Despite the spoilers that leak online from its British run, the period drama has been a ratings hit for public TV, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger told the TV critics' group.

"You kind of don't want to mess with that if it's working so well," Kerger said.

Word-of-mouth from the British airing helps create buzz and promotion in advance of its PBS run, she said.


The show begins its fourth season in Britain this fall, with PBS airing it starting Jan. 5.

Asked about rumors that the next season of "Sherlock" starring Benedict Cumberbatch might air at the same time in the U.S. and Britain, Kerger said the debut date has yet to be set.

The updated exploits of the Sherlock Holmes character has attracted the same "passion and enthusiasm" as "Downton," she said, so PBS is considering its scheduling very carefully.

source: The Associated Press