×
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

  • Natalie Morales76th Annual Golden Globe Awards,

    Natalie Morales to Exit 'Access Hollywood' and 'Access Live' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Natalie Morales is bowing out of NBC’s “Access Hollywood” and “Access Live” after three years as co-host of the daily entertainment news programs. Morales will continue working for NBC News as West Coast anchor for “Today” and as a correspondent for “Dateline.” Her departure comes a month after “Access” underwent an executive producer shuffle with [...]

  • CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters'

    CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters' Reporting Effort for Earth Day

    CBS News is sending correspondents to far corners of the earth for an all-day “Earth Matters” reporting effort to kick off Monday on “CBS This Morning.” To coincide with Earth Day, five correspondents will be spread among five continents to offer in-depth reports on environmental issues and the politics in the U.S. surrounding the response [...]

  • JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: GAME NIGHT -

    Jimmy Kimmel Sets 'All in the Family,' 'The Jeffersons' Live Special on ABC

    Jimmy Kimmel’s long-gestating live sitcom special is finally coming to fruition. Kimmel announced Thursday night on his ABC late-night show that the special, which was first announced in May 2017, will air Wednesday, May 22, from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The special will see a cast of celebrity guests recreating two classic episodes of the sitcoms [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92% of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92% of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good [...]

  • The Village

    NBC Swaps Timeslots of Freshman Drama 'The Village,' 'The Voice' on Tuesdays

    NBC is changing the timeslots of Tuesday shows “The Voice” and “The Village.” Up to this point, freshman scripted drama “The Village” has aired at 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays immediately after “The Voice” at 8 p.m. Beginning April 23, “The Village” will air at 8 followed by “The Voice” at 9. The schedule will remain [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content