Before you read any further…remember, there’s no crying in baseball and there will be no crying today across Downton Abbey-Nation. Unfortunately, what you have probably read recently in supermarket tabloids is now official. PBS, ITV and Carnival Films have confirmed that the forthcoming series of Downton Abbey, series 6, will be the last for what has become the highest rated drama in the last decade in the UK and the highest rated drama of all-time on PBS in America. Unfortunately, Downton Abbey is not just stunned or tired out after a long squawk. It is ready to go and meet the choir invisible. As of series 6, it will cease-to-be. It will be an ex-period drama series.
Sad face aside, I feel like I did when I heard the news there would be no more episodes of The Office (the UK version, obviously), Fawlty Towers and The Shield. It’s not often that a series has to opportunity to go out on top. Just ask the creators, writers and producers of The Hour, who didn’t have the opportunity to go out on their own terms but, instead, had to read about their cancellation in the newspaper tabloids.
With Downton Abbey, I think most would agree that it’s time. With 51 Emmy nominations to date, 11 of which resulted in wins including Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie, Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or a Movie and Outstanding Miniseries or a Movie, three Golden Globes®, three Screen Actors Guild Awards of which two were for Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series, a Producers Guild of America Award, three BAFTA awards and three National Television Awards for Best Drama as voted for by the British public, it’s time. Before you get all misty-eyed, here’s a look back at the 50 most memorable moments over the past five seasons of Downton Abbey.
Carnival’s Managing Director and Executive Producer of Downton Abbey, Gareth Neame said, “Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception. We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up…”
Commenting on the announcement, Julian Fellowes, writer, creator and Executive Producer of Downton Abbey said, “The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea. Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment.”
Finally, if you’re wondering how you will occupying your time on Sunday evenings in the post-Downton Abbey era, don’t forget there’s always Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, Last Tango in Halifax, Poldark, Crimson Field, Wolf Hall, Wallander, Endeavour, Lewis, Sherlock, Indian Summer and Arthur & George. I think we’re going to be ok….