“Downton Abbey” will end after season six, PBS and producer Carnival Films announced Thursday.
Gareth Neame, Carnival’s managing director and executive producer of “Downton Abbey,” said in a statement: “Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably, there comes a time when all shows should end, and ‘Downton’ is no exception. 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. 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.”
Julian Fellowes, writer and creator of the series said, “The ‘Downton’ journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea. Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment.”
PBS president-CEO Paula Kerger added, “PBS and our member stations have been so proud to be the home of ‘Downton Abbey’ on ‘Masterpiece’ in the United States. We, like the fans, simply cannot wait to see what will happen to the Crawley family and their beloved staff as this incredible series culminates in season six. The series has enjoyed such success over the past five seasons, and we’ll certainly be working alongside Carnival, Masterpiece and PBS member stations to make season six the biggest yet. Until then, Sunday nights on PBS continue to offer fans a full slate of ‘must view’ British and, soon, American historical drama.”
“Downton Abbey” is the top PBS drama of all time, the most popular series in “Masterpiece’s” 44-year history and a consistent ratings performer, with season five averaging 12.9 million viewers over its nine-week run, with over 12.6 million streams of full episodes digitally. The series has earned 51 Emmy nominations to date, winning 11, along with three Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Producers Guild Award, and three Baftas.
“‘Downton Abbey’ has been a television executive’s dream come true: a beautifully made, returning series that captures a nation’s attention and becomes a household name. It’s been a game-changer for ‘Masterpiece,'” said “Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “We are indebted to our U.K. partners for making a show which will go down in television history, not just for its impeccable writing, acting and production values, but most importantly, for its enormously warm-hearted audience appeal.”
“Downton Abbey” is a Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production written and created by Fellowes. It is executive produced by Neame, Fellowes, Eaton, Liz Trubridge and Nigel Marchant. Chris Croucher produces.