Downton Abbey to get fifth series

Downton Abbey Downton Abbey has won several Emmys in the US

Related Stories

ITV period drama Downton Abbey has announced a fifth series, as the fourth series of the hit show draws to a close.

"We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy," said Gareth Neame, director of Downton Abbey creators Carnival Films.

Julian Fellowes will return to write the series, which is expected to air next year.

The latest series has had average viewing figures of 11.8 million.

"With Julian writing and Gareth (Neame) and Liz (Trubridge) producing, we know it will be as warm, witty, romantic and dramatic as previous series and we can't wait to catch up with our favourite characters again," said ITV's director of drama commissioning, Steve November.

Downton Abbey debuted on British TV screens in 2010 and has since been sold in more than 220 territories.

12.3 million Americans tuned in to the finale of series three in February, making it the highest-rated show of the day, and breaking the viewership record for broadcaster PBS.

Christmas special

In June, it was announced that Oscar-nominated US actor Paul Giamatti is to join the cast of Downton, starting with the Christmas episode.

He will star alongside Elizabeth McGovern as Harold, the "maverick, playboy" brother of Lady Grantham.

Shirley MacLaine will also reprise her role as Martha Levinson - Lady Grantham's mother - in the Christmas special.

The current series sparked controversy over a storyline that saw housemaid Anna attacked and raped by a guest's valet.

The broadcaster received 200 complaints after the show was aired on 6 October, while media watchdog Ofcom received 250.

However the watchdog later said it had decided not to pursue the complaints "after careful assessment... because they did not raise issues warranting investigation".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Woman with closed eyeStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.