×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MacLaine to join ‘Downton Abbey’

Thesp's character will spar with Smith's dowager countess

Shirley MacLaine is joining the cast of global TV phenom “Downton Abbey.”

She will play a new character, Lady Grantham’s mother Martha Levinson, in the third season of the Julian Fellowes-scripted U.K. costume drama, which begins filming next month.

The casting underlines the impact “Downton Abbey,” made by NBCUniversal-owned Carnival, continues to make on both sides of the Atlantic — and in TV markets around the world.

Carnival managing director Gareth Neame said: “My late grandfather (Ronald Neame) directed Shirley MacLaine in ‘Gambit’ in 1966, so it is a delight for me that she will be joining us on ‘Downton Abbey.’ Julian has written another brilliant character in Martha Levinson, who will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith’s dowager countess, and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her.”

“Downton Abbey” plays on PBS Stateside and on commercial broadcaster ITV in the U.K.

ITV director of drama Laura Mackie, who commissioned the show, said, “It is so exciting to have an actress of Shirley MacLaine’s stature joining our brilliant ‘Downton Abbey’ cast for series three and a tribute to the show’s success on both sides of the Atlantic.”

MacLaine’s deal was brokered by ICM.

More TV

  • China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With

    China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With Animated Series and Movie

    Two seasons of the hit Chinese animation series “Boonie Bears” have been licensed for release in South Korea. The deal was struck by animation studio Fantawild with content distributor Media to Media. The broker has acquired IPTV and VoD rights to “Boonie Bears: Four Seasons,” and “Sunsational Summer and Snow Daze,” a total of 104 [...]

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

  • 'Brexit' Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Stars in

    TV Review: HBO's 'Brexit'

    The announcement of the film “Brexit” — which aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 before its HBO bow on Jan. 19 — engendered serious criticism from the British, and understandably so. The film, which looks at recent history in the manner HBO productions like “Game Change” and “Recount” had done, takes on a story whose very [...]

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content