‘Downton Abbey’ to End After Season Six

Downton Abbey to End After Season 6
‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6 read through: Maggie Smith (Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham) and Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley). Photo credit: (C) Nick Briggs / Carnival Film & Television.

It’s official: Carnival Films and Masterpiece have confirmed the award-winning, critically acclaimed dramatic series Downton Abbey will finish up its run with season six. The period drama is the top PBS dramatic series of all time and also one of the most popular shows in Masterpiece’s history. Season five averaged 12.9 million viewers, just slightly less than season four, and established new records for tweets of a PBS series.

“The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea. Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment,” stated writer/creator Julian Fellowes.

Announcing the final season, Carnival’s Managing Director and Executive Producer of Downton Abbey Gareth Neame said, “Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception. We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up…”

“PBS and our member stations have been so proud to be the home of Downton Abbey on MASTERPIECE in the United States,” added Paula Kerger, President and CEO, PBS. “We, like the fans, simply cannot wait to see what will happen to the Crawley family and their beloved staff as this incredible series culminates in Season 6. The series has enjoyed such success over the past five seasons and we’ll certainly be working alongside Carnival, MASTERPIECE and PBS member stations to make Season 6 the biggest yet. Until then, Sunday nights on PBS continue to offer fans a full slate of ‘must view’ British and, soon, American historical drama.”

Downton Abbey is executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes, Liz Trubridge and Nigel Marchant.

-By Rebecca Murray

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