"Downton Abbey" is here to stay. The award-winning British drama has been renewed for a fourth season by ITV1 and will return on screen in autumn 2013 with eight new episodes, and a Christmas special this year end.
"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," Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV, said. "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."
The show will continue on the story of Crawley family and their servants in the early 1920s. Producers promised that familiar faces will return along with new additions. "Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance," Gareth Neame, Executive Producer of the drama said. Filming for the fourth season kicks off in February at Highclere Castle, Hampshire, and Ealing Studios.
Fans of the show will first enjoy a two-hour special to be screened on ITV1 at 9 P.M. this Christmas Day. "We hope the Downton family of viewers will gather together to watch this major TV event as a shared Christmas night experience," Mackie said. "Last year's special episode set the nation talking on Boxing Day and 2012's Christmas Day episode is no different. As ever, Downton will take its audience through a whole range of emotions. All of life's experiences will feature in this episode. This is one episode you will want to see live with millions of others - and best have the tissues ready."