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By genre. Brit pop. Britney Spears tour. Lionel Richie tour. Festival news. Festivals in London. On the 3rd November , ITV confirmed that a third series had been commissioned and would air from September The consolidated ratings averaged This makes Downton Abbey one of the most popular dramas in recent memory.
The final episode of series three also achieved over 12 million viewers. The final Series six  premiered on 20 September The series is set in the fictional Downton Abbey , a Yorkshire country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants early in the reign of George V.
The first series spans the two years prior to the Great War, commencing with news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic , an event that sets the story in motion. Highclere Castle in Hampshire was used for exterior shots of Downton Abbey as well as for some of the interior filming, with the servants' living areas constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios.
The village of Bampton in Oxfordshire was used for filming the outdoor scenes, most notably St. Mary's Church and the village library, which serves as the entrance to the cottage hospital. The series was also well received in the United States, averaging over 6 million viewers per episode. Series 1 Edit The first series started on 26 September , and explored the lives of the Crawley family and their staff from the day after the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April to the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August Much of the focus is on the need for a male heir to the Grantham estate, and the troubled love life of Lady Mary as she attempts to find herself a suitable husband.
The device that sets the drama in motion is the entail that accompanies the fictional Earldom of Grantham, which endows both title and estate exclusively to male heirs. This is complicated by the fact that the estate had been near financial ruin, and was only saved when the present Earl, then the heir apparent, contracted a wealthy marriage with an extremely rich American heiress.
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Upon marriage, her considerable fortune was contractually incorporated into the comital entail in perpetuity. The Earl, having had only three daughters and no son, had arranged for his elder daughter to marry her cousin, and son to the heir presumptive, thus keeping both title and estate within the immediate family. The demise of both heirs presumptive in the sinking of the Titanic destroys the family plans and brings a distant cousin, a young solicitor from Manchester , in line to inherit everything, including the personal wealth of the Countess, who will not be able to bequeath it to her daughters.
This series consists of 8 episodes plus a Christmas special spanning the years - , and follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants. The second series premiered in the UK on 18 September , and in the U. Series 3 Edit It was confirmed at the preview of the second series, at Highclere Castle on 29 July , that Julian Fellowes was working on a third series, set after the Armistice and during the s. Actress Amy Nuttall who played Ethel Parks did not return for the third series. ITV confirmed the commissioning of a third series on 3 November The cast started filming in February , and the series aired in September Fellowes stated that in series three, there was going to be a storyline about Catholicism.
New cast members were announce for series three; actress Shirley MacLaine joined the series playing the role of Cora Crawley 's mother, Martha Levinson. Series 4 Edit This series once again consists of 8 episodes and a Christmas special and spans the years - It is set in Owner of Downton Abbey, played by Hugh Bonneville. Episode 1. Formerly a chauffeur, then journalist, worked as Downton's manager, but moved with his daughter to America; widower of Sybil , father of Sybbie Branson , played by Allen Leech - Episode 1. Robert's valet, played by Brendan Coyle - Episode 1.