UPDATE: Carnival Films has confirmed today that the sixth season will be the last for “Downton Abbey.” The company released the following statement and ‘thank you’ image:
“The time has come that we must announce that Series 6 will be our last visit to Downton Abbey. It has been an incredible journey for all of us at Carnival. Thank you to all the fans and supporters of the show who have helped make it such a success, and such a joy to work on.”
The original story follows:
It appears that Julian Fellowes’ hit period drama “Downton Abbey” will be coming to an end. TV Line is today reporting that plans call for the upcoming sixth season to be the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning show’s last.
A Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production, “Downton Abbey,” is entering production on the final season this year with Fellowes writing. As with the recent fifth season, plans call for season six to include eight episodes and a Christmas special.
“At its heart, television is about storytelling, and ‘Downton Abbey’ is certainly storytelling at its finest,” said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO when a sixth season was first announced (but not confirmed to be the last). “Along with our member stations, PBS can’t wait to share the next season of Downton drama with our audiences.”
Featuring a cast that has included the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Lily James, Rose Leslie, Sophie McShera, Dan Stevens, Maggie Smith and many, many more, “Downton Abbey” is reportedly making the decision to conclude its run due to the talent contracts running out and the desire of the cast to move on to other projects.
Executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes, Liz Trubridge, and Nigel Marchant, “Downton Abbey” was created and written by Fellowes. Rebecca Eaton serves as Executive Producer for Masterpiece, which is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The Masterpiece Trust.