Downton Abbey will conclude after its sixth season, the ITV show's producers have confirmed. Producer Gareth Neame made the announcement during a press conference on Thursday (26th March). "It's a very emotional day for all of the people involved in the show," Neame said at the press conference.

Downton Abbey
Maggie Smith stars in Downton Abbey.

See More: The Cast Of Downton Abbey Filming (March 2015).

The news comes amidst rumours of discord between producers and the show's creator Julian Fellowes, falling ratings and the pressures of numerous cast members leaving the show. Neame was keen to claim the decision to end the show had been mutually agreed upon by the producers and Fellowes. Their decision was largely based on timing and ensuring the series continued to be "a bespoke, well-crafted piece of popular television." The producers further want to ensure the "integrity of the initial concept". 

"The danger with this sort of thing is to let them go on forever," Neame stated, as People reports. 

Few details regarding the sixth season have been released but Neame said the show's writers and producers have "an eye to where the characters will end up". The sixth series, due to be broadcast later this year in the UK and in 2016 in the US, has yet to be written but will be set in 1925. 

The time period appears to have caused some difficulties, as the time lapse of 13 years appears to be problematic for some of the characters. The first series, which was set in 1912, was broadcast in 2010. As Maggie Smith pointed out, her character Lady Violet "must be 110 by now". Her comments in the Sunday Times prompted rumours about her departure from the show in the near future. 

However, fans of the show will be relieved to hear there may be a spin-off series of the show or even a movie. Although there are no concrete plans for either, both the producers and Fellowes are "very interested" in the concept of further developing the Downton Abbey franchise. 

"Our position on that is that we would be very interested in that [a Downton Abbey movie]. It is definitely something that we're contemplating. It would be great fun to do. I think it would be a wonderful extension," Neame said, as Variety reports.

The period drama centres on the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants at their family seat, Downton Abbey, in Northern England. Downton Abbey's extensive cast includes: Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle

Read More: Michelle Dockery, Actress Best Known As Downton Abbey's Lady Mary, Engaged?

Downton Abbey
Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech as Lady Mary and Branson in Downton Abbey.