Downton Abbey Returns
to PBS in 2012

Good news for viewers who are suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal: the wildly popular Masterpiece miniseries will return with new episodes in winter 2012.

Downton Abbey, the Edwardian spellbinder from Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece, depicts the intertwined lives of servants and aristocrats at a country estate and is one of the most successful miniseries in recent Masterpiece history. Dubbed "an instant classic" by The New York Times, and "the best abbey since Abbey Road" by Entertainment Weekly, more than six million viewers watched the television broadcast each week and thousands more streamed it on the Masterpiece website and discussed it online.

"Lightning doesn't strike often in television these days, but it certainly did with Downton Abbey," says Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "It was a fantastic start to our 40th anniversary season, and Series II is good news for everyone."

Gareth Neame, executive producer and managing director, Carnival Films, says, "We're delighted by the warm reception U.S. audiences have given the first series of Downton Abbey, and we can't imagine a better home than Masterpiece on PBS for the second series."

Julian Fellowes will continue as the writer for upcoming series, and members of the "superstar" cast have committed to the second season, among them Dame Maggie Smith. Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern will also return as Lord and Lady Grantham.

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