"Downton Abbey" Renewed For Season 4: British Broadcaster ITV Picks Up Drama For Another Year
"Downton Abbey" has been renewed for a fourth season, British broadcaster ITV announced Friday. Though the show has yet to premiere its third season in the US (it bows on PBS on January 6, 2013), it just concluded its run in the UK with its highest-rated season to date, averaging over 12 million viewers for the Season 3 finale.
The fourth season will begin filming eight episodes, plus another Christmas special, in February 2013 for a fall premiere in the UK. Though PBS has yet to issue a statement on its plans for the fourth season, the show is expected to continue at the network.
According to Gareth Neame, executive producer of the series, "viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance" in the fourth season.
Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV, said: "We're thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe. Creator, writer and executive producer Julian Fellowes and the production team, led by Gareth and the producer Liz Trubridge, never rest on their laurels and have exciting plans for the fourth series."
Neame also praised "genius" showrunner Julian Fellowes, who writes all the episodes. "Not only is he a superb craftsman, he also has an extraordinary work ethic. It is a mammoth undertaking to write all those episodes," he said in the statement. "The main credit for the success of "Downton" is by far and away down to Julian. I've not had the fortune to work with anyone else who combines so many talents."...