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Breaking News: DOWNTON ABBEY Renewed for 5th Season!

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Related: Downton Abbey

ITV and the Makers of Downton Abbey, Carnival Films have just announced that the show has been picked up for a fifth season.

Audience figures for the fourth series have hit an average 11.8 million viewers - making it the highest rated drama on television in 2013. Downton Abbey also broke records in the US earlier this year with the finale of Series 3 beating all network and cable competition to become the highest rating programme that evening on American television. The series, which aired on PBS's Masterpiece, a co-producer with Carnival Films, was watched by a total of 24 million viewers.

The globally successful series, produced by Carnival Films, part of NBCUniversal International Television Production, debuted on ITV in 2010 and has since been sold to over 220 territories and is viewed by an estimated global audience of 120 million people.

The fifth series will once again be written by Julian Fellowes and Executive Produced by Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival, together with Liz Trubridge and Fellowes.

But before that viewers can look forward to the return of Downton Abbey on Christmas Day, with a 2 hour feature episode which will see Shirley MacLaine reprise her role as Martha Levinson and Paul Giamatti join the cast as Cora's playboy brother, Harold along side all the much loved regular characters of the show.

Downton Abbey 2013 Christmas Special

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