Briefly: The Crawleys will survive to fight another day. Downton Abbey has been renewed for a fifth season, as announced by PBS, several weeks before Season 4 even premieres in the U.S. “As American audiences ready themselves for the January 5th premiere of Season 4, our devoted Downton fans will rest easy knowing that a fifth season is on the way,” said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton.
In the U.K., the fourth season (sorry, that’s “series” for you Brits) concluded this past weekend. It was the highest-rated TV drama of the year, drawing nearly 12 million viewers on average. There aren’t many upsides to the fact that our friends across the pond get the episodes months before we do, but the fact that we don’t have to worry about whether the show will get renewed is one.
Downton Abbey‘s 2013 Christmas Special will air in the U.K. next month. Season 4 kicks off January 5 in the U.S.