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13 Reasons to Be Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess When You Grow Up

Maggie Smith

We thank Downton Abbey for many things, but most of all for the Dowager Countess.

Lady Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) doesn't let a little thing like being elderly get in the way of being awesome. We all hope to live to a ripe old age, but only if we can bypass the tiresome stereotype of being feeble and — let's face it — boring. Here's a primer on how to grow up funny, feisty and full of win, Dowager Countess-style!
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Downton Abbey: Was Thomas' Downfall Deserved?

Rob James-Collier

[Spoiler alert! The following contains details from Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey. Read if you dare risk the wrath of the Dowager Countess.]

Downton Abbey's Thomas finally got his comeuppance, but was it enough? Or was it unfair treatment?

On Sunday's episode, the sneering servant was finally outmaneuvered by his fellow downstairs nemesis O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran) who convinced him that footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers) reciprocated his romantic feelings. Thomas (Rob James-Collier) made his move by kissing the unsuspecting sleeping Jimmy, who was shocked and disgusted by the unwanted advances.
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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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6 Reasons Why Americans Are Bloody Obsessed with Downton Abbey

Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery

When Downton Abbey's third season premiered earlier this month, it netted 7.9 million viewers, up 96 percent from the Season 2 premiere and earning larger audiences that week than home-country hits such as The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser and New Girl. So what exactly is it about a British period drama that has Americans in a tizzy? TVGuide.com breaks down the six biggest reasons why... read more

Ratings: Downton Abbey Premiere Draws Nearly 8 Million Viewers

Downton Abbey

Third time's really a charm!

The Season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey, which aired Sunday night in the United States, drew 7.9 million viewers, up a whopping 96 percent over its Season 2 premiere. The two-hour episode quadrupled PBS' average prime-time numbers.

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Will Sherlock Be Pushed Back to 2014?

Benedict Cumerbatch and Martin Freeman

Good things come to those who wait?

BBC has pushed back the production of Sherlock three months, which means fans of the series on this side of the pond may have to wait until 2014 for the third season, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Production was moved from January to March to accommodate the busy schedules of... read more

Downton Abbey Promos: The Dowager Countess' Claws Come Out for the "Dreadful" Martha

Downton Abbey

The Olympics may be over but it will be a true battle of England vs. America when Shirley MacLaine makes her debut on the upcoming season of Downton Abbey.

In two new previews for the Emmy-nominated series, MacLaine's outspoken character, Martha, mother to Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), advises the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) not to... read more

Fall TV Wish List: A Grey's Funeral, a Creek Reunion and a Glee Breakup

Ellen Pompeo

Fall TV is upon us!

Your favorite TV shows are returning in just a few short weeks — some of them with radical changes. (We're looking at you, Glee and Grey's Anatomy.) Will your favorite characters be shacking up with someone new, getting new jobs or — sniff -- dying? You'll have to check TVGuide.com in the coming weeks to get the scoop on all things fall TV!

For now, our editors have compiled a lengthy list of things we hope to see happen on TV this year. Keep in mind that these are wishes near and dear to our hearts and do not reflect any actual upcoming plots (yet!). Check it out: read more

9 Downton Abbey Spoilers: Trouble With Matthew and Mary, Lady Violet Meets Her Rival

Downton Abbey

At the Television Critics Association fall previews for the Emmy-nominated Downton Abbey, PBS screened a trailer for Season 3 to a packed room in Beverly Hills Saturday. Judging from the sneak peek, when the show returns, the Crawleys will once again endure broken hearts, social hardship and Lady Violet's clever tongue.

Here are nine spoilers from the upcoming season... read more

PBS on Firing Fred Willard: "It Would Become a Distraction"

Fred Willard

PBS' president said the network fired Fred Willard after his indecency arrest to keep the production schedule moving.

At the fall TV previews in Los Angeles, Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, said Willard's removal as the narrator of Market Warriors, the network's spin-off of Antiques Roadshow, was mostly a function of a tight schedule. "We are actually in production with that series, so at the end of the week, when it became known, we had to... read more

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