Downton Abbey came to a close in the UK last night (10 Nov.) on ITV and even though it won't air in the US (on PBS) until January, producers of the show and bosses at the UK station have already agreed to bring the show back for a fifth run. ITV and co-producer Carnival Films announced Sunday (10 Nov.) that the Crawley family will be back for at least one more time, as the channel continues to capitalise on its most successful export.

Hugh Bonnevile
Hugh Bonnevile and co. keeping the grounds of Downton Abbey reputable

According to ITV, the program brings in an average of at least 24 million viewers each week when it airs in the US, making it the most-watched drama in PBS' history. Understandably, both ITV and PBS want to continue capitalising on the immense success of the series and a fifth season seems like the most logical step fo producers to take. The hit series has already been sold to over 220 territoires and has an estimated global audience of 120 million people.

As ITV's statement informs, the fifth series will be written once more by series creator Julian Fellowes and the show will continue to be executive produced by Fellowes, Liz Trubridge and Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival.

Jim Carter
Jim Carter plays loyal butler Charles Carson

Neame said in regards to the new season being commissioned, “Audiences have enjoyed their regular Sunday evening visits back to Downton once again this autumn and we are thrilled to produce a new series of the show next year. We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy played out by some of the most iconic characters on television. All the actors and makers of the show continue to be humbled by the extraordinary audience response and want to take the show from strength to strength next year.”

Before we get to see the fifth season, fans in the UK will get to enjoy the Christmas Special this December, with Shirley MacLaine returning as Martha Levinson and Paul Giamatti joining the cast for the special as Cora’s playboy brother, Harold. The two-hour special will air in time for Christmas.

Lily James
Lily James play Lady Rose MacClare in the series