'Downton Abbey' renewed for a fifth season

Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM
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BOSTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The iconic British costume drama "Downton Abbey" was renewed for a fifth season and will air under PBS' Masterpiece programming banner in the United States.

Each season of the show runs in the United Kingdom first, then is broadcast on PBS in the United States a few months later.

Earlier this year, more than 24 million viewers watched the third season of the series in the United States, making it the most-watched drama in PBS history.

"As American audiences ready themselves for the Jan. 5 premiere of Season 4, our devoted 'Downton' fans will rest easy knowing that a fifth season is on the way," Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said in a statement Sunday.

Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" recently completed its run in the United Kingdom where it drew 11.8 million average viewers, making it Britain's highest-rated television drama in 2013.

"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," said Gareth Neame, executive producer of "Downton Abbey" and managing director of Carnival Films.

Season 5 of the program will premiere in the United Kingdom in 2014.

Written and created by Julian Fellowes, "Downton Abbey" follows the lives of the wealth Crawley family and the men and women who serve them at their country estate in the 1920s.

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