Downton Abbey will end after Season 6, the show’s makers have announced.
“Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception,” said the show’s executive producer Gareth Neame.
Created by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey follows an aristocratic family’s fortunes from 1912 to the mid-1920s.
Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern have played the Earl and Countess of Grantham since the show began in 2010.
The ITV show’s success both at home and abroad was recently demonstrated when Kate Middleton went to see it being filmed at Ealing Studios in west London.
Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter and Maggie Smith are among other regulars on the show, which has seen both the masters and the servants at the titular stately home – actually Highclere Castle in Hampshire – deal with numerous tribulations.
The show has also had a glitzy array of guest stars, among them Shirley MacLaine, Paul Giamatti, Richard E. Grant and Nigel Havers.
“We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans,” said Gareth Neame.
“We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.”
Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, said the nine-episode sixth series would come to an end with a “concluding special” on Christmas Day.
Speaking to journalists on March 26, however, Gareth Neame did not dismiss talk of a potential film spin-off, saying it was “definitely something we’re contemplating”.
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