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PBS Sets Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere Date

Downton Abbey will return to PBS on ...

Sadie Gennis

Downton Abbeywill return to PBS on Sunday, Jan. 5, the network announced Tuesday. The period drama will run for eight straight weeks, with Season 4 concluding on Feb. 23.
"Masterpiece fans will not be disappointed: Julian [Fellowes] has done another brilliant job, this time, portraying the Downton family moving on from the tragedies of last season," Masterpiece Classic executive producer Rebecca Eaton told The Daily Beast.

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The tragedies Eaton referenced include the deaths of both Downton's heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and the family's youngest daughter Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay). Siobhan Finneran, who played the scheming maid O'Brien, will also not return for Season 4.The series is making up for these losses by adding a slew of new cast members, including Tom Cullen as a new love interest for Mary (Michelle Dockery); Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the Dowager Countess; Nigel Harman as a visiting valet Green; Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake; Joanna David as the Duchess of Yeovil; and Gary Carr as Downton's first black character, a young jazz singer. Shirley MacLaine will also reprise her role as Martha Levinson, Lady Crawley's fiercely American mother.Are you excited for more Downton?