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'Downton Abbey' producer explains why season 6 is the last

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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Why is Downton Abbey ending its run of romance, finery, and sharp words from one Dowager Countess? Executive producer Gareth Neame said the team wanted to leave fans “wanting more.” 

“We wanted to leave them with wanting more, leave while the show is in really robust health and a year or two earlier than you might expect just so you can be sure to maintain the quality of the work,” Neame said. “And hopefully people will look back on what was a well-formed show, and not say what people often say, which is ‘Well, it was a great show, but it ran out of steam.'”

The decision to end was a joint one between the producers and the cast, Neame said, and the plan had been in the works during the filming of season 5. The announcement, however, had to wait. “We were thinking about it ending during the course of filming this season, but we didn’t want the fans to know season 6 would be the end until season 5 had been played out in its own way.”

And the sixth season may not even truly be the end for the Crawleys and company: On Thursday, Neame teased the possibility of a movie to follow the series’ conclusion. 

Reporting by Gillian Telling.

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