facebook
twitter
search
search

Maggie Smith leaving 'Downton Abbey'?

March 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM
| License Photo

LONDON, March 7 (UPI) -- Actress Maggie Smith has not signed up for the expected fourth season of the beloved British period drama "Downton Abbey," The Mirror reported.

Production on the third season of the show is under way. The series has been a huge ratings hit in the United Kingdom on ITV and in the United States on PBS.

Set in the early 20th century, the drama follows the lives of the wealthy Grantham family and the many people who keep their great house running.

Smith, 77, plays the sharp-tongued matriarch dowager countess of Grantham.

The Mirror said Smith has alarmed the show's producers by not signing a contract for the anticipated fourth and fifth seasons of "Downton Abbey," even though the show has not been officially renewed that far in advance.

Co-stars Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and Elizabeth McGovern have already signed contracts for possible future seasons, the newspaper said, adding Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, has not signed a new contract.

"'Downton Abbey' has a history of major surprises, and the producers are not opposed to changing casting within the show to add to the drama," a source told the Mirror. "But it's hard to imagine the series without Maggie Smith or Dan Stevens involved in some way. To write the dowager countess out of the series, or even kill off the character, would be 'Downton's' boldest storyline yet."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Chrissy Teigen goes topless for W magazine
Nicole Scherzinger spotted kissing Pajtim Kasami
Jimmy Kimmel interviews kids about gay marriage, says SCOTUS ruling will 'ruin being gay'
Amy Schumer could become 'The Bachelorette,' host Chris Harrison agrees to her terms
Stan Lee attends 'Ant-Man' premier