ITV has officially announced today that Season 6 of Downton Abbey will be the show’s final season.
The last ever episode will air on Christmas Day on ITV, following eight episodes this autumn.
Writer Julian Fellowes commented: “The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea.
“Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment.”
Executive producer Gareth Neame added: “Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception.
“We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up…”
Downton Abbey has averaged 11 million viewers over its five seasons so far, including Christmas specials. The show airs in over 250 territories worldwide and is the most nominated British show in Emmy history with 51 nominations to date.
ITV’s Director of Television, Peter Fincham said: “When Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame brought us the idea for Downton Abbey six years ago we thought it would be a great Sunday night series for ITV, but we had no way of knowing that it would become a global phenomenon playing to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.
“What a ride it’s been – for everyone involved in the production, for the cast, and most of the all for the audience. We all thought very carefully about the right moment to bring something so special to a close that felt editorially right, and left viewers wanting more. Christmas Day on ITV this year will certainly be one to remember, as the concluding special brings a series to an end that started as a leap of faith for all of us, and ended surpassing all expectations.”
The final season begins filming soon and will air on ITV this autumn.
Season 5 was watched by an average of 10.4 million viewers last year.
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