British broadcaster ITV announced that cross-continental hit Downton Abbey has been renewed for a fourth season.
Season three of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama hasn’t yet premiered in the United States, but has aired in the UK (and garnered its best ratings yet). PBS will debut season three on Jan. 6. Season four will start shooting in February and will bow in the UK in the fall.
According to ITV, the fourth season will continue the story of the Crawley family and their servants in the early 1920s, with feature-length episodes for the premiere and finale. “Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance,” the network promised in a release.
The Daily Mail is reporting that actor Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, is not returning to the show for a fourth round. This is not confirmed by ITV, however. The report cites an anonymous source: “He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.” The actor is currently appearing on Broadway and was recently quoted as saying he might not return to the show. A spokesperson for ITV gave this non-denial on the matter: ” We do not discuss cast contracts nor do we discuss future storylines.”