Masterpiece and Carnival Films confirmed today that Shirley MacLaine will be returning to “Downton Abbey” in season 4 of the award winning TV series.
Early in season 3, she portrayed the role of Martha Levinson, the free willed American mother of Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham. Even though her appearances were limited, she quickly became a favorite of fans for her quick wit and boisterous attitude.
We will also see the introduction of 6 new characters in season 4 of “Downton Abbey.”
Renowned opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa will play a house guest. The name of the character she will play is unknown at this time. It is reported that she will sing while she is visiting “Downton Abbey.”
Lady Mary will have 2 suitors competing for her heart – and possibly her money and social status. We will just have to wait for season 4 to see if her suitors are genuinely interested in her, or if they have ulterior motives!
Tom Cullen will be playing Lord Gillingham, who is described as an old friend of the Crawley family. He attends a house party and visits the family as well. Will he be the one who can fix Lady Mary’s broken heart?
Julian Ovenden is cast as Charles Blake, an esteemed aristocrat who will also attempt to court Lady Mary.
Nigel Harman will be introduced as a valet named Green.
Harriet Walter will play Lady Shackleton, one of the Dowager Countess’ old friends.
Joanna David will appear in a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil.
“The addition of these characters can only mean more delicious drama, which is what Downton Abbey is all about,” said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton.
Here comes the moment you may have been dreading – news about the departure of cast members of “Downton Abbey.”
Luckily, there is only one cast member leaving.
The producers of “Downton Abbey” have confirmed that Sarah O’Brien – the villain of the servants – won’t be returning. Actress Siobhan Finneran, who starred in the role, is leaving the show.
“I’m not doing any more,” Finneran confirmed. “O’Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being — that was great to play.”
So it looks like viewers are getting a break from the turmoil of losing any more major characters.
In season 3, we saw the dramatic and untimely deaths of Lady Sybil and Matthew Crawley.
The shocking death of Lady Sybil, who died shortly after giving birth to a baby girl, was brought about by the departure of actress Jessica Brown Findlay. She starred in the role of Lady Sybil.
Matthew’s tragic death was brought about by the departure of actor Dan Stevens, who starred in that role. His death in a car crash happened right after his wife, Lady Mary, gave birth to their son.
“Downton Abbey,” which is set in Britain in the early 20th century, is the most-watched series on PBS since 1990, when Ken Burns’ classic “The Civil War” first hit the air.
The Neilsen Company stated that 8.2 million viewers watched the final episode of “Downton Abbey.”
“Downton Abbey” airs on PBS’ Masterpiece anthology. The show won three Emmy awards last fall, including an award for Maggie Smith as best supporting actress. She plays the Dowager Countess. Smith also won a Golden Globe in January.
Overall, the popular TV series has won nine Emmys, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the ensemble cast. Downton Abbey is the first the first British TV show to win a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Returning stars include Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle.
Are you looking forward to the introduction of new characters in season 4 of “Downton Abbey?”
Do you think Lady Mary’s suitors will be after her heart, or her money and social status?
Please leave your thought in the comments section below!