MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz


Fans can't count on Countess, others returning

By Corey Levitan Mar 7, 2012 10:54AM

More than just the second "w" may be missing when "Downton Abbey" returns for Seasons 4 and 5. Key members of the cast -- including Dame Maggie Smith, according to the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper -- have not yet agreed to come back.

Smith, 77, plays the scrappy Dowager Countess, by far the "Masterpiece Classic" show's favorite character.

Also yet to re-up, according to the Telegraph, are actors Siobhan Finneran (O'Brien), Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil Crawley) and Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley). According to the the Associated Press, Stevens has just wrapped another period drama -- a movie called "Summer in February" -- and says he would "like to do something modern and possibly funny."

"Downton Abbey" is currently shooting its third season, to premiere this fall, with Shirley McLaine joining the cast as Elizabeth McGovern's American mother.

Mar 7, 2012 4:20PM
It's absolutely true, as Chess queen stated, we need more quality television.  I think it speaks volumes about the lack of it, that we're all so crazed about Downton.  When something special comes along, it really stands out.  Maggie Smith is truly amazing, I encourage you to go back and look at her work over the years, you will find many treasures and award winning performances.  Looking forward to more great writing and wonderful characters, as long as they keep filming them, I'll keep watching! 
Mar 7, 2012 3:33PM

Don't leave Maggie!!!!  You're the best part!!!!


Mar 7, 2012 3:26PM
After a long and anticipated wait for Season 2, it was way too short. 7 Episodes did not quench my thirst. If so many important characters don't return it will be dissappoinitng. Just hoping if the show returns, we can get at least 10 episodes this time.
Mar 7, 2012 2:17PM
I WANT MY DOWNTON!!!!! Selfishly, I don't care if they want to do other things. I LOVE Downton and there are so few great shows out there (Downton being one of them) that I want it to air as long as possible. Do it for the fans Maggie et al!!!

Mar 7, 2012 2:16PM
Well, the named actors have a right to go on to other things, of course. It would be a shame. I hope they're not extending the show so long that we will wish it ended at season 3. I wish there was a way we could let them know how much we wish they would all return. It is, after all, a regular pay check....
Mar 7, 2012 2:07PM
I agree with Chess Queen. Its a great show that I just happened upon and fell in love with. Excellent actors all around. I have been hoarding the last episode and cant bring myself to watch it.
Mar 7, 2012 2:01PM
@Chess Queen, I agree with you.  I won't be to surprised if she does sign for season 4 & 5.  Her character can't live forever, even if we really want her to.  That could be the reason she hasn't signed, she dies.  I do love her little comments, she makes me laugh so hard.  Can't wait for the new season.
Mar 7, 2012 1:45PM

It would be a shame if we lost these cast members, but if we could get three great seasons from this series, that would be fine. Season two was better than one, and I have no doubt that season three will surpass two, but honestly, I would love to see Mary and Matt wed, and Bates come home. Beyond that, anything else is extra. We simply need quality television and PBS is still the standard. Maggie Smith is a wonder, she has acted more in the last few years than most people half her age. If she decided to retire, I could not blame her.

I am grateful for the series either way, and ending at a pinnacle at the end of season three would be sad, but a good way to close out the series. Bravo Downton Abbey!


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