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Granny's Past and a Baby Bates? Downton Abbey Season 5 Scoop

Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith

Last year, Downton Abbey went through a transitional season dealing with major loss but also laying the groundwork for what could be a very intriguing fifth season.

Before the series returns stateside on Sunday, Jan. 4 on PBS' Masterpiece, the cast -- Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech  along with executive producer Gareth Neame --  attended the Television Critics Association fall previews on Tuesday to present select clips from the upcoming season. Here's what we can expect:

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Did Downton Abbey Lose Its Charm? Finale Rounds Out a Frustrating Season

Michelle Dockery, Julian Ovenden

[WARNING: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]

We are grateful to have Downton Abbey in our lives, but our devotion to the show is the very reason we're so irked at how it progressed this season.

Although we've come to terms with the loss of Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), it doesn't seem like the writers quite know what to do in the wake of those deaths. So much of this season felt either forced or false or just failed miserably. Has Downton Abbey lost its charm?

Before launching into the season as a whole, let's go over the highlights of the finale, shall we?

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Weekend Review: About a Boy, Fisher Sneak Peeks, Downton Finale

Minnie Driver, David Walton, Banjamin Stockham

This week's gold-medal question: Can NBC reverse its spotty track record when it comes to using the ratings boost of the Olympics to launch new programs? (Remember the Summer 2012 debacle when the network interrupted the flow of London's Closing Ceremony to inflict Animal Practice on an unwilling captive audience?)

The news is better this weekend, during the closing nights of the Games. The comedies getting a sneak peek are considerably more entertaining than Animal Practice — what wouldn't be? — and they won't air until after that night's Olympics packages are finished.

First up is NBC's best new comedy of the season (including the star-driven disappointments that flopped on Thursdays this fall): About a Boy, airing Saturday night at approximately 11/10c before moving to its regular time period next Tuesday at 9/8c. This charmingly offbeat ... read more

Weekend TV Review: Give These Shows a Medal!

Benedict Cumberbatch

While the Olympians continue to dominate the TV spotlight in Sochi, another gathering of championship talent takes a bow in the weekend's other gold-medal event: PBS's Great Performances presentation of National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage (Friday, 9/8c, check tvguide.com listings).

Laurence Olivier led the National Theatre upon its founding in 1963, and he and other luminaries are seen in vintage clips from past productions, interspersed throughout a dazzling evening of live re-enactments and tantalizing excerpts from landmark plays, including Angels in America, Stuff Happens, The History Boys and War Horse. Fans of Downton Abbey will delight to see the Dowager Countess Maggie Smith in her 1964 prime, vamping in ... read more

Downton Abbey: What's Bates' Next Step?

Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt

Mr. Green better watch his back. On Sunday's Downton Abbey, Bates (Brendan Coyle) finally got tipped off about Anna's (Joanne Froggatt) assailant when ... read more

Weekend Review: Downton Abbey, Dateline on Asthma, Best of Fallon, All-Star Simpsons

Downton Abbey

Was it really so hard finding good help in those days? When Robert, aka Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), is informed that his wife is once again bereft of a lady's maid, he overdramatically moans, "Are we living under a curse?"

There's no question a pall thicker than London fog hangs heavy over Downton Abbey in its fourth year as Masterpiece Classic's signature series (Sunday, 9/8c, on PBS; check tvguide.com listings). Not only has Lady Cora's bedchamber not been the same since her scheming servant O'Brien left — she slinks away in the opening scene, and boy, is she missed — but the family and staff are in sustained mourning over the untimely (and contrived) death, six months earlier, of heir Matthew Crawley, Lady Mary's husband, in last year's unhappy finale.

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Downton Abbey Exec Producer Gareth Neame Previews a Season of Change

Downton Abbey

Soon after the conclusion of another record-breaking season of Downton Abbey in the U.K., executive producer Gareth Neame, who has worked on the international phenomenon with series creator Julian Fellowes since its birth, sat down with TV Guide Magazine to share some scoop. The much-anticipated series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants returns to PBS's Masterpiece this Sunday.

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Breaking Bad, Big Bang Top SAG Awards Nominations

Breaking Bad

Breaking BadThe Big Bang Theory30 Rock and Modern Family led Wednesday's Screen Actors Guild Award nominations with three each, while Netflix made a splash with Arrested Development and House of Cards.

SAG Awards surprises and snubs: Big love for Big Bang, but none for Mad Men

Breaking Bad, which also got a stunt nomination, will be up against two-time champ Boardwalk Empire, defending ...
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Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery: Lady Mary Won't Be Happy for a Long Time

Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech

[Spoilers! The following contains information about the first three seasons of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]

Downton Abbey's Lady Mary may be in mourning, but will we get to see her eventually find happiness this season?

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Downton Abbey Season 4 Scoop on Lady Mary, London and More

Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech

Pull out your dancing shoes, because Downton Abbey will be entering the Jazz Age.

[Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the past three seasons of Downton Abbey. If you haven't caught up yet, read at your own risk!]

It's been months since fans reeled from that shocking Christmas episode that also rocked the Crawley family, and now they're moving into the 1920s with new babies, suitors and even a musician or two. The story picks up in February 1922, when Downton Abbey is still in deep mourning for the loss of heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) from an auto accident.

13 reasons we want to grow up to be Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess

"Both the audience and the characters have experienced some passage of time," executive producer Gareth Neame said at PBS' Television Critics Association fall preview on Tuesday. read more

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