'Downton Abbey' Renewed by PBS for Season 5

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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November 11th, 2013


via press release:


Production to begin in 2014

Boston, MA - November 10, 2013 - DOWNTON ABBEY, the Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R) award-winning drama hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as "an absolute pleasure to watch," will return to MASTERPIECE on PBS for a fifth season.

"As American audiences ready themselves for the January 5th premiere of Season 4, our devoted Downton fans will rest easy knowing that a fifth season is on the way," says MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton.

Downton Abbey Season 4 recently completed its run in the UK, where it drew 11.8 million average viewers - making it Britain's highest-rated television drama in 2013. Earlier this year, more than 24 million viewers watched the third season of the series in the U.S., making it the most-watched drama in PBS history.

Gareth Neame, Executive Producer of Downton Abbey and Managing Director of Carnival Films, said, "Audiences have enjoyed their regular Sunday evening visits back to Downton once again this autumn and we are thrilled to produce a new series of the show next year. We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy played out by some of the most iconic characters on television. All the actors and makers of the show continue to be humbled by the extraordinary audience response and want to take the show from strength to strength next year."

"Like millions of other Downton fans, I can't wait to see what's next for the Crawley family," said Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS. "PBS is proud to be the home of this extraordinarily entertaining series, and, along with our stations, we look forward to sharing Season 5 with U.S. audiences."

Downton Abbey Season 4 will air on MASTERPIECE Sundays, January 5 through February 23 on PBS.

Written and created by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, Season 4 is a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE Co-Production. The series is executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes and Liz Trubridge. Nigel Marchant is co-executive producer. Rupert Ryle-Hodges is the producer. The first episode is directed by David Evans. Other episodes are directed by Catherine Morshead, Philip John, Edward Hall, and Jon East. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series' future.

  • Glue

    That’s good news for all the fans :)

  • gerry

    unsurprising but hooray!

  • Jon

    Yawn….I’d rather watch paint dry, but I’m happy for its fans

  • Jay

    just finished watching season 4 and god, what a bore. Spoiler alert but can’t believe ‘managing the estate’ featured as a storyline, not just for one ep but for the entire season!

  • Ike

    I don’t watch this show, but PBS needs to get season 5 out there the same day, or at least the same week, as it premieres in the UK. Delaying all the seasons so far, including season 4, until months after they’ve already aired in the UK is naff and very dumb. The gits at PBS need to wake up and realize it’s not 1986 anymore. Yes, even this audience will illicitly download it. Even Michelle Obama blatantly admitted she got it illicitly ahead of time! (Via UK DVDs in her case, not downloads, but whatever.) Their viewership would be much higher if it was closer to the UK airdate. PBS, you wankers, take a lesson from BBC America’s treatment of Doctor Who.

  • grey

    Great. And by the time the rest of the world has seen it we’ll just be seeing the season 3 due to PBS lag time in showing the series. :-/ (Sarcasm)

  • Ollie

    Ahem, I’m sorry but I think this has been renewed by ITV not PBS


    Isn’t S05 supposed to be the last? I read somewhere where Julian Fellows didn’t want to go into WWII.

  • AlanHalliwell

    Is it not ITV Not PBS who owns Downton Abbey

  • Brandojames

    Everyone is correct on it being an ITV property. But in America, PBS owns the US broadcasting rights to it. And this is a press release from PBS. Which is why it’s worded like that.

  • charmedcraft

    Can’t wait for season 4 to start.

  • jessica

    Is it not ITV Not PBS who owns Downton Abbey

    ITV is the commissioning domestic broadcaster but the show is actually made by …. PBS’s Boston station WGBH (whence Masterpiece cometh) and Carnival Films, a sub-sub-subsidiary of …. Comcast. Yes, that’s right. The company that owns NBCUniversal and the crap shows they keep making also owns Carnival Films which makes one of the most successful shows on the eastern shores of the Atlantic. Truly the left hand knows not what the right does.

    As for the complaining about the language of the press release, of course it is almost always more accurate to say that the American broadcaster has acquired the rights to the next season. That does however lack such key words as “original” and “renewed” and to avoid usage of those words is to suggest that the American broadcaster isn’t the commissioning broadcaster and that the show might be foreign. Even with a show about British people in a little castle there still exists the need to present it as though it is American. To suggest that a foreigner could do something better than an American can do is to support the communists and the terrorists and the whateverists and is just plain anti-American and un-American. blah blah blah USA is the centre of the universe, hell USA is the universe…

    That said, it is hard to pretend to be or be the centre of the universe and source of all things great and noble and yet be the follower to another. Yes, the scheduling of British shows on PBS weeks or months or years later is hardly becoming of a network which believes in its programming. The others may offer lots of crap but they do so proudly and promptly. Doctor Who is 5 hours later on BBCA, Atlantis is 2 months later on BBCA, Continuum and Lost Girl usually come somewhere under 2 months later on Syfy, and Being Human actually comes 1 hour earlier on Syfy than on SPACE in Canada. Downton Abbey is on PBS 2 months after the Blu-ray has been released.

  • Feedback

    Downton Abbey has been melodramatic and soapy for the past 2 seasons. A farcry from the brilliant Series 1 and the excellent Series 2.

    In fact, I can name a bunch of NBC shows that are superior to Downton Abbey:

    1. The Voice- It’s more entertaining than the last season of Downton at least.
    2. 30 Rock- One of the best comedies ever.
    3. Community- A mediocre Season 4 not withstanding, it’s earlier seasons were much better than DA.
    4. Awake- A brilliant show that lamentably only ran for 1 season.
    5. Hannibal- It’s pretty great and has the potential to get even better. Fingers crossed it doesn’t fumble like DA did.
    6. Chuck- It was really funny and had a great following.
    7. Harry’s Law- Sophisticated, witty and intense. Terrible ratings, but still a quality show.

    I haven’t seen Chicago Fire, but I’ve heard pretty good things about it. I’ve also seen a couple episodes of Parks and Recreation and it’s pretty funny too. Parenthood isn’t my cup of tea, but my girlfriend watches both PH and DA and she prefers Parenthood, so they are obviously doing something right.

    I agree that crap shows like Revolution, Smash, The Cape and pretty much every single sitcom they’ve put on post-Community have been crap, but hey, they’re just trying to appeal to the masses of stupid people who watch TV. Too bad they all have their TV sets on a loop between The Walking Dead, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

  • Marcus


    The fact you named a reality singing competition that’s still airing way past its novelty factor as a better show than Downton Abbey invalidates your opinion.

  • Nick

    I’m surprised of how good season 4 was! Maybe it wasn’t something out of the world but it was a fun, dramatic and heart pacing season. At first I couldn’t see the series without Mathew but now I see a new world of possibilities!!

  • City Kitty

    Season 4 was extremely disappointing. They need WWII to start to add some action to the series.

  • Joe

    Oh this is the worst show ever on Public Television. It’s over acting, non existent storylines, and blood bath treatment of killing characters off is too much. I would rather watch Big Bang Theory.

    Only a rag like the Hollywood Reporter would like this crap.

    and BBC America has gone down the toilet lately with it’s uneven treatment of airing Doctor Who or borrowed Reality TV shows. Bleech.

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