WHO lives? Who dies? And who gets married?
Those questions are answered in the final episode of Downton Abbey series two on ITV1 at 9pm this Sunday.
With ITV having confirmed a few minutes ago that series three has, indeed, been commissioned.
As if there was any doubt.
It will again consist of eight episodes covering a period of 18 months in 1920 and 1921.
You can read the full press release at the bottom of this blog.
Not forgetting the feature-length special to be screened this Christmas.
Which sees Downton marking New Year’s Eve 1919 and ushering in 1920.
This week’s series two finale is set in the spring of 1919 with preparations underway for Matthew’s wedding to Lavinia.
There are three days to go and wedding presents are flooding in.
But Matthew has other concerns:
“I just wish I could get rid of this damn stick.”
You will already know from last week’s teaser trail that Sybil’s “news” is revealed in episode eight.
That Matthew and Mary dance alone.
The music on the gramophone?
“Look For The Silver Lining” by Marion Harris.
Mr Carson is taken ill (again) – along with a number of others.
As the dreaded Spanish flu epidemic reaches Downton.
It emerges that chauffeur Branson is moving up in the world, having obtained a job as a journalist with a Dublin newspaper.
With Sybil set to join him, working in the city as a nurse.
Creator and writer Julian Fellowes has crafted several significant moments of drama in this last episode.
Which will have you counting the days until the broadcast of that Christmas Special.
I have a freshly ironed invite to the launch next month.
Where Her Majesty’s Press will once again be interviewing cast members after a preview screening.
Rest assured that I will be reporting back in this blog as soon as my carriage returns.
It promises to be one of the highlights of the TV year.
Having said that, you probably won’t have missed murmurings in some quarters about this second series at times veering close to a French & Saunders parody.
We’re not on the road to Acorn Antiques quite yet.
But there may be some room for a slight course correction in the third series.
And loving this show so much, I think we can cut it a little slack.
Julian originally conceived Downton as a trilogy but has subsequently played down speculation that the third series will be the last.
Although I suspect he will be keen not to push the drama too far until it outstays its welcome.
ITV Series Three Announcement:
ITV today announced commission of eight new episodes of the immensely successful Downton Abbey written and created by Julian Fellowes.
Audience figures for the second series have increased by over 21 percent on the first series with a consolidated average of 11.5 million viewers watching the first six episodes of this current series – making it the most popular drama series on UK television for over 10 years.
The new series will be set in 1920 and 1921, and the drama will cover a period of 18 months in the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them.
The globally successful series, produced by Carnival Films, a division of NBCUniversal International Television Production, debuted on ITV1 in September 2010. Since then the country has been gripped by the storylines that saw Downton at war during the second series and the house consumed by the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919.
After 15 episodes and with a Christmas special episode to look forward to on ITV1 in December 2011, the nation remains obsessed and riveted by Downton Abbey.
The third series will be written once again by Oscar and Emmy award winner Julian Fellowes. The Carnival Films produced series will be executive produced by Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival Films, together with Julian Fellowes. Liz Trubridge will produce the series for a third time.
The new series has been commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and Controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing Downton Abbey back for a third series, as we follow the inhabitants of Downton as they move into the roaring 20’s. It’s rare to find a drama that the audience connects with so strongly and we’re extremely proud to have commissioned a series that has become such a phenomenon,” Said Laura.
Carnival’s Managing Director Gareth Neame responded:
“Downton Abbey has become a huge hit worldwide, sold to over 200 territories and with accolades such as 6 Primetime Emmys and The Guinness World Record. The current series has built on the first with an audience increase of over 21 percent. Julian has created a fantastic ensemble of characters, with a myriad of stories which are dramatic, romantic and comedic all centred around the environment that is Downton. We could not be more excited to invite audiences back to Downton next year.”
Downton Abbey’s writer and creator Julian Fellowes said:
“I am extremely grateful to ITV for this. I have grown very fond of my Downton family and I certainly do not want to say goodbye to them quite yet.”
ITV Downton Abbey Series Two Official Site