Downton Abbey gets third series from ITV

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 07-11-2011

Despite attracting criticism for historical, and medical, inaccuracy, Downtown Abbey has won over not only the huge audiences of its first series but also broadcaster ITV who is to air a third series.
Written and created by Oscar and Emmy award winning scriptwriter Julian Fellowes, the series captures the travails of landed gentry and their enduringly loyal servants in England during the First World War, the drama’s second series has increased audience figures by 21% on its predecessor with a consolidated average of 11.5 million viewers watching the first six episodes of this current roster. This has made it the most popular drama series on UK television for over 10 years.

As the second series, produced by Carnival Films, a division of NBCUniversal International Television Production, ended with the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919, the new series will cover an 18-month period between 1920 and 1921.
Fellowes has again inked the new series, and is co- executive producer along with Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival Films. Neame said: “Downton Abbey has become a huge hit worldwide, sold to over 200 territories and with accolades such as 6 Primetime Emmys and The Guinness World Record…Julian has created a fantastic ensemble of characters, with a myriad of stories which are dramatic, romantic and comedic all centred around the environment that is Downton. We could not be more excited to invite audiences back to Downton next year."
“We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing Downton Abbey back for a third series, as we follow the inhabitants of Downton as they move into the roaring 20’s. It’s rare to find a drama that the audience connects with so strongly and we’re extremely proud to have commissioned a series that has become such a phenomenon,” added ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie.
The cast returning will include amongst others Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Penelope Wilton, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Findlay Brown, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Rob James-Collier, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Allen Leech and Amy Nuttall