Rejoice: ‘Downton Abbey’ Has Been Renewed For Series 6

downtonhorizontalgroupshot.jpg

"Downton Abbey" Series 5 cast (Photo: Courtesy of ©Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE)
It’s official: On the eve of its fifth season finale in the UK, ITV has confirmed that Downton Abbey will return for a sixth series.

All together now: Yaaaaaaay!

This news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, given the truly global success enjoyed by Downton. Series 5 has averaged over 10 million viewers per episode in the UK this Fall. But, as with any show that is so universally beloved, it’s a relief to know that we aren’t going to have to say goodbye to the Crawley clan anytime soon. 

“We have had an amazing reaction to the story lines, acting and production values of Downton Abbey this year and the whole team is thrilled to be moving ahead with a new season of the show,” said executive producer Gareth Neame.“This will provide audiences with a fresh opportunity to see what will befall our much loved characters.”

Creator Julian Fellowes will return to write the sixth season, but, as yet, there are no official announcements about what cast members will be back. So, start your speculation engines, folks!

Here’s the official announcement from the Downton Twitter account: 

The fifth season of Downton is set to screen in America on Masterpiece beginning January 4, 2015. Season 4 achieved monster ratings for PBS earlier this year, ending up as the most-watched drama in the network’s 45 year history.

"At its heart, television is about storytelling, and Downton Abbey is certainly storytelling at its finest. Downton Abbey and the Crawley family have kept us on the edge of our seats as they navigate through some of the biggest moments of the 20th century," Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS, said in a statement. "Along with our member stations, PBS can't wait to share the next season of Downton drama with our audiences."

Production on Series 6 is slated to begin in early 2015, with an eye to a Fall broadcast in the UK. If history is any guide, that means we can expect to see the sixth season transmit in the US in early 2016. 

Are you exctied for more Downton?