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'Downton' could have its new leading man

Tom Ellis reportedly being courted to play Lady Mary's new love interest

By Mekeisha Madden Toby Feb 18, 2013 2:18PM

'Tom Ellis' '/' PBS

Fans of "Downton Abbey" needn't worry about Lady Mary for long.


After losing (SPOILER AHEAD) her husband Matthew (Dan Stevens) in a car crash during the show's shocking Season 3 finale, Mary (Michelle Dockery) will find love again. The Mirror Online is reporting actor Tom Ellis (BBC's "Miranda") has been short-listed to play her new beau.


Bing: More on 'Downton Abbey'  | Michelle Dockery | Dan Stevens | Tom Ellis  


If Ellis, 33, is cast, it would be a huge coup for ITV to snag a BBC star. Ellis, who is married to Tamzin Outhwaite of "EastEnders," also has legions of female fans thanks to his role on "Miranda."


Plus: 'Downton Abbey' most shocking moments | Celebrating Black History Month 


Producers plan to make Lady Mary's romance a major part of Season 4.


"Mary has to rebuild her life in a society which is changing," Julian Fellowes, the show's creator and EP, told The New York Times. "We would see women's roles in the '20s as being very much behind women today. But it was a big advance on what it had been 30 years before. And that's all explored in the show."


"Downton Abbey" Season 4 returns to PBS in 2014.