Sophie McShera

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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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Downton Abbey: Lady Edith's Heartbreaking Dilemma and Bates' Trip to York

Laura Carmichael

"Sometimes, I don't think God wants me to be happy." Poor Lady Edith. On Sunday's Downton Abbey, the second Crawley daughter is still dealing with the dilemma of becoming an unwed mother in 1920s polite society. On top of that ... read more

5 Downton Abbey Parodies That Are Long Overdue

Martin Freeman, Sophie McShera

It's that time of year again, when a TV viewer's fancy turns to thoughts of love for Downton Abbey.
Now that the British period drama is back on Sundays on PBS, be prepared for Bates-and-Anna watercooler chatter, your pals quoting the Dowager Countess and of course parodies, which are this millennium's sincerest form of flattery.

13 reasons to be Downton's Dowager Countess when you grow up

We've seen tributes from P. Diddy, Sesame Street, The Simpsons and Jimmy Fallon, to name a few. With Downton in its fourth season, we're expecting a slew of... read more

VIDEO: Check Out the Trailer for Downton Abbey's Season 4 Christmas Special

Downton Abbey

Season 4 of Downton Abbey hasn't even premiered in the U.S. yet, but it's already coming to an end in Britain.

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Keck's Exclusives: O'Brien's Downton Abbey Farewell

Siobhan Finneran

Downton Abbey's fourth season, premiering on PBS in January, will say goodbye to Lady Cora's personal maid, O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran, who will appear in one episode to wrap up her story). O'Brien's exit will reverberate through the staff, affecting, among others, head housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and recently promoted cook's assistant Daisy (Sophie McShera).

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Downton Abbey Downstairs Scoop: Anna Dances, Mrs. Hughes Subs, and Daisy Gets Nasty

Sophie McShera

Matthew who?

On the upcoming fourth season of Downton Abbey, the Crawleys upstairs may be mourning the recent death of their heir, but those downstairs are suffering from an additional loss: O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran). Beyond the absence of the scheming lady's maid, the servants will also have to contend with new-fangled kitchen gadgets, a familiar face returning and ongoing internal strife (we blame Thomas!).
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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

Playing Matchmaker for Downton Abbey's Lovelorn Servants

Sophie McShera

"You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people." -- the wisdom of Mrs. Patmore

Not every servant on Downton Abbey can have the fairy tale romance of Bates and Anna (false murder rap and imprisonment aside), and a servant in the 1920s is further constrained by his/her status. For every Gwen (Rose Leslie) who opened up her romantic prospects by becoming a secretary, sadly there's a fallen Ethel (Amy Nuttall) who's forced into prostitution after having an affair with a military man. What's one of the serving class to do but flirt awkwardly with one of their own in hopes of safely pairing off?
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