MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

Report: 'Downton Abbey' down a romantic lead

Dan Stevens to exit early in Season 4 of PBS drama

By Corey Levitan Nov 26, 2012 10:43AM

It looks like "Downton Abbey" will lose its romantic lead. According to Britain's Sunday Express, Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, is exiting.

"He will probably do the first episode of the fourth (season), but that will be it,” the newspaper quotes a "well-placed production source."


Bing: More about 'Downton Abbey' | Dan Stevens


The report hints that Crawley's departure might be money-related, noting that NBC owns the show's production company and "there was talk it didn't want to put in so much money this time."


Plus: Celebrities playing celebrities

Crawley is currently appearing on Broadway in "The Heiress." In July, "Downton" creator Julian Fellowes told TVLine that Stevens would drop out of the Tony-winning play after three months to return to "Downton," which begins shooting again in February. However, in October, Stevens told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper that he would go six months (until May).

"I don’t know if I will be returning to 'Downton,'" Stevens told the Mail.

As the heir to Lord Grantham’s house and fortune -- and one half of the show's focal couple -- Matthew Crawley is integral to the period drama. His loss would represent a major blow.


Stevens will appear throughout Season 3, which has aired in Britain but not yet in America. He is also expected to appear in a two-hour Season 3 Christmas episode that will see the Granthams hit Scotland for a vacation without the servants.

How do you feel about this development?

Season 3 of "Downton Abbey" will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.

Nov 27, 2012 2:36PM
With this being said not sure season 3 will be worth investing my time. I mean, everybody wants Crawly and Mary to be happy...........right?
Nov 26, 2012 7:09PM

Why do they call Stevens "Crawley"  throughout the piece?  That's his character, not his real name.

Shoddy writing. 

Matthew would be no loss to me.  I've seen season 3 already and can see exactly how they can push him out without trauma. 

Let him go and concentrate on the real actors and compelling storylines.

Nov 26, 2012 6:48PM
If this is true, it bodes ill for the show.  Dan Stevens is an integral part of the cast, and there would absolutely be no way to write him out of the show, that would satisfy the viewers. 
Nov 26, 2012 5:54PM
It's par for the course for NBC.  They know how to screw up successful programming.  Ask any Law & Order and Law & Order Criminal Intent fan.  If they were willing to part with some money, they wouldn't have such crappy programs.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?