via press release:
One of the most talked about shows on television has an official premiere date: Downton Abbey Season 4 will begin on MASTERPIECE on PBS on Sunday, January 5, 2014.
MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton announced the U.S. airdates today at the PBS Annual Meeting. The hightest-rated drama in PBS history, Downton Abbey Season 4 will run for eight weeks, from January 5 to February 23, 2014.
In total, 24 million viewers tuned into the third season of Downton Abbey, and its emotional February 17 finale was the #1 show on television, beating all broadcast and cable in primetime.
Casting news for season 4 includes the return of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson and several new actors, including Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Gary Carr. They will join Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, and the rest of the large and beloved Downton Abbey "family."
"Downton Abbey" is a Carnival/MASTERPIECE Co-Production. Carnival is a division of NBCUniversal.