A fifth season of the show has already been commissioned, but it might be the last
Downton Abbey is by far one of the most successful TV series on the small screen today, drawing in huge, devoted viewer figures week in week out on both sides of the Atlantic. However all good things must come to an end and if series creator and writer Julian Fellowes is to be believed, then Downton's days may already be numbered.
Downton creator and writer Julian Fellowes has earned major success with the show
Speaking on American TV (via The Telegraph), the Oscar-winning writer revealed that the upcoming fifth season of the hit period drama might also be the last, as he looks to move on different projects, namely the planned series The Gilded Age. In the interview, Fellowes conceded that although he would like to see Downton continue, he would rather not spend his time confined to just one piece of work. Unwilling to work on two projects at once - the last time he did this was with Downton and the widely criticised Titanic in 2012 - Fellowes has said that he will take time off from Downton Abbey to work on other projects, perhaps ending the show for good.
The Gilded Age has been described as an American version of Downton Abbey and has already been commissioned by NBC Universal, however production is being held up whilst Fellowes completes work on the fifth season of Downton Abbey. Once he is finished with Downton, Fellowes will begin working on The Gilded Age, possibly ending Downton for good in the process.
The latest season of Downton has been criticised in reviews, so maybe it's time is due
“It will happen when Downton finishes, because I just couldn’t do both at once," Fellowes revealed. When he was questioned as to whether this meant that Downton would come to an end after season five, he added, “Yes. I don’t know yet if there is a season six, but it’s not going to go on forever. It won’t be Perry Mason.”
The announcement will no doubt come to a huge shock to fans of the show, but not nearly as much as it will to networks ITV and PBS, who air the show in the UK and US respectively and can cite it as being one of their most popular shows. Fellowes could hand over the Downton reins to another team of writers in order to concentrate on The Golden Age, however this eventuality has yet to be discussed publicly by network execs. or Fellowes himself.
Downton has already introduced a number of American characters