It’s the biggest PBS phenomenon since Sesame Street, and might very well be the classiest thing you do every Sunday night. Yes, Downton Abbey is returning on Jan. 5, and Entertainment Weekly was on the set for season four of the British TV phenomenon. Creator Julian Fellowes’ wildly popular period drama about life on a decadent English countryside estate shocked viewers last season with two major character deaths (we’ll never forget you, Matthew and Sybil!), and the show’s anticipated fourth season promises to be nothing short of shocking, exciting, and traumatic — which is just what we’ve come to expect of the Grantham and Crawley clan. Even guest star Shirley MacLaine was floored by the show’s drama: “When Matthew died I nearly threw a chair at the television. I thought, what is Julian Fellowes doing? It took me a few days to get over it.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: Downton Abbey (11-20 of 74)
“I love Downton,” said Huston, last seen on the small screen on NBC’s Smash. Although American-born, Huston spent much of her childhood in Ireland and England, stating she “could pop into a part.”
She even has her own suggestion for a part. “Somebody like the Countess Markievicz [an Irish rebel], who they mentioned last season. Maybe I could make a guest appearance,” she continued.
Countess Markievicz was mentioned in the fourth episode of season 3, when Sybil and Tom Branson go on the lam in Ireland after Tom is suspected of being involved in Irish rebellion activities. The Countess, not to be confused with the Dowager Countess Grantham played by Countess of the Universe Dame Maggie Smith, was a real-life Irish rebel, who fought for an independent Ireland. But how she would logically appear on Downton Abbey may be difficult, because the political figure would have either been busy working as the Minister of Labour in Ireland or in prison.
READ FULL STORY
Some of our favorite TV characters are often unlucky in love. They just can’t seem to find The One — but what if The One is on another show altogether?
It’s a dark and stormy night at Downton Abbey. The Crawleys and their servants have all gone to bed — everyone but Lady Mary. She doesn’t sleep much after her beloved husband Matthew’s fatal car accident. As she stares blankly across the grounds, she notices a figure emerge from the horizon. A tall, bearded man dressed in a threadbare uniform lumbers toward the Abbey. He is still far away, but Mary believes she has seen him before. The man seems to resemble a portrait she has always admired in her father’s study. It displays the visage of an earlier Lord Grantham’s infamous cousin, who defected from the British Army to join the Americans in their Revolution. His name was Ichabod Crane.
READ FULL STORY
I don’t do well with death on television. It’s why I spend the majority of my time watching Breaking Bad or Homeland incredibly stressed out. It’s why I had to stop watching The Tudors after season 3, and why – while my brain knows it’s a great show – I’m unable to watch most of Game of Thrones. But that’s on me: All of the shows’ premises strongly imply that you shouldn’t get too attached to anyone; anyone’s head could be on a metaphorical or physical chopping block any day now.
But I had no such expectations with Downton Abbey. Here, I thought, was a sweet little show where whole episodes are devoted to such high-stake events as whether everyone was dressed appropriately for dinner. Surely the worst thing that could happen here is a missed connection or a torn hemline. And for two beautiful seasons – save for a wartime death of a secondary character – that’s exactly the show I got.
But then things changed. Oh, how they changed: In the span of just a few quick episodes, two of my three favorite characters died, and eight months later, I’m still not okay with it. I’m so not okay with it, in fact, that I’m unable to read any casting news without getting upset and wanting to block it out. ‘Oh, Mary and Matthew’s baby boy is named George, just like the new prince? Pass! Respected wonderful actor Paul Giamatti is joining the show? Nope! If a friend wants to talk about the program with me, I have to divert the conversation to Under the Dome or Big Brother or some other equally low-stakes summer program. I’m in denial, and I want to stay there. READ FULL STORY
It’s been nearly six months since Matthew Crawley met his untimely end on the season finale of Downton Abbey, and because people don’t seem to be getting over it anytime soon (WHYYYYYYY?), actor Dan Stevens is doing a bit of better-late-than-never damage control.
“I am sorry about that!” Stevens told Radio Times magazine in excerpts posted online. “I think what emerged is that it’s an unwritten rule that you’re not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day, and that, specifically, was not my doing. … I didn’t have any say in the manner in which he went. Ultimately, it was in the hands of Julian [Fellowes] and the producers.”
What is being left unsaid, of course, is that the only reason Fellowes and Co. had to write him off at all was because Stevens decided to leave the show — but at least his death means that fans will only have good memories of Mary and Matthew, as opposed to breaking them up to write Matthew off the show. “It was right that he didn’t run off and have an affair with somebody,” Stevens said. “I don’t think that would have been right for Matthew as a character.” READ FULL STORY
Remember a few weeks ago when Diddy announced he was joining the cast of Downton Abbey and everyone said, ‘No way!’ and then it kind of happened, albeit via a Funny or Die video? Well, now the Rolling Stones are rumored to be possibly dropping by Downton next season. U.K. paper The Mirror reports Hugh Bonneville is friends with Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and is trying to get the group to film an appearance. “Obviously they wouldn’t play themselves, but they could be a rag-tag bunch of traveling entertainers or even a circus act. It would be such a coup, and fun for the Stones. They really are huge fans of the show,” an anonymous source told the paper.
BOOM! There are so many things to unpack here. Cousin Robert parties with Ronnie? The Stones really watch Downton? Did Mick Jagger cry over Matthew’s death? A rep for the show didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for confirmation that the Rolling Stones may actually, in real life, be filming a guest spot on Downton. [UPDATE: A rep for the show tells EW it's not true.] But, for fun, let’s assume this is totally happening. Below, what we’re hoping to see if Mick Jagger and Co. swing by the estate next season. READ FULL STORY
Ah, this explains everything. When Sean “Diddy” Combs announced yesterday that he was joining the cast of Downton Abbey as a series regular, he was actually promoting a new Funny or Die short that digitally adds the hip-hop mogul to existing Downton footage. (You can insert him anywhere!)
The jokes are predictable — Diddy keeps calling the show Downtown Abbey; at one point, he fights off Thomas’s advances; there’s a decent amount of swearing — but funny all the same. And you’ve got to admire the chutzpah of a guy who never misses an opportunity for product placement, even in a spoof video.
(Let’s hope he didn’t drive there.)
While gallivanting around Europe to promote Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams apparently stopped by one of Britain’s most famous fictional estates: Downton Abbey, home of enough ominous musical cues and mysteries to be, well, a J.J. Abrams creation. Here’s the man himself, mixing something in the kitchen under the watchful eye of Mrs. Hughes (a.k.a. actress Phyllis Logan):
After the series 3 finale of Downton Abbey left more than one nation in tears, and with U.S. audiences having to wait what seems like an eternity for season 4 to start, there’s a creative choice by some well-known Downton fans putting a bright spot on the Crawleys’ world and tiding us over until next winter — a Downton musical!
In the parody video below, filmed at the legendary Studio 54 in New York, actor and comedian Colin Andrew Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) plays Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes (billed in the video as Julian Alexander Kitchner-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford), who explains his decision to create a Downton musical in between cuts of songs that would fit perfectly into Edwardian England.
“The guys and I were all Downton Fans and while spitballing ideas, we said ‘Well Buffy & Grey‘s did a musical episode,’ and we thought of Julian Fellowes in a room with Shonda Rhimes and Joss Whedon trying to plan out the inevitable Downton Abbey Musical Episode in season 4,” producer Kevin Duda told EW.
Carson sings about tea, while Mrs. Hughes tries to get him to embrace a newfangled way of making his favorite drink. Mary and Tom sing sad songs while they hold their babies, and Mary Stout, who portrays Mrs. Patmore/Lesley Nicol reveals it’s been a lifelong dream of hers to play Mrs. Lovett (of Sweeney Todd fame).
“So watch out Daisy,” she says with wild eyes and a maniacal laugh.
Check out the video here:
READ FULL STORY
- 'Ouija' is Friday's No. 1 movie: $8.3M
- 'Constantine' off to modest start in ratings
- Ewan McGregor vs. 'Star Wars' faux fans
- 'Honey Boo Boo' canceled by TLC
- Billy Boyd song for next 'Hobbit' end-credits
- Terry Keenan, Fox News and CNN alum, dies
- 'Thrones': 86,000 answer call for 600 extras
- Aaron Paul vs. Toys 'R' Us over action figures
- 'Project Runway' winner: 'It's just sinking in'
- J.K. Rowling's new Dolores Umbridge story