ITV commissions a fifth series of Downton Abbey

Fellowes to pen another Downton Abbey series for 2014.

Downton_Abbey_Christmas_2013

ITV and Carnival Films has announced the recommission of hit period-drama, Downton Abbey for a fifth series.

The new series will be once again written by Julian Fellowes and Executive Produced by Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival, together with Liz Trubridge and Fellowes.

Carnival’s Managing Director Gareth Neame said: “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”.

ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning, Steve November responded: “We are enormously happy to have Downton Abbey on ITV and we are delighted to be announcing this new series. With Julian writing and Gareth and Liz producing we know it will be as warm, witty, romantic and dramatic as previous series and we can’t wait to catch up with our favourite characters again.”

Downton – which is returning for a two-hour special on Christmas Day – has been this year’s highest rated TV drama attracting an average UK audience of 11.8 to ITV. The series 3 finale also broke US records earlier in the year, with 24 million viewers.

Shirley MacLaine will reprise her role as Martha Levinson in the Christmas episode and will be joined by Paul Giamatti as Cora’s playboy brother, Harold.

Downton Abbey series 5 is expected to air in Autumn 2014.