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DOWNTON ABBEY's Julian Fellowes on Dan Stevens' Departure

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Related: DOWNTON ABBEY, Julian Fellowes, Dan Stevens

He goes on to explain that the producers wanTed Stevens to remain on the show for only a few more episode, to send Crawley off in a proper way that was sure to please fans.

"My thinking was if we had him for another three episodes he could have a foreign posting," Fellowes said. "But he wasn't prepared to do that."

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Written and created by Fellowes, the series won an impressive six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe in its first season. Recent honors for Season 2 include multi-category nominations from the Critics' Choice Awards and from the Television Critics Association.

The cast also includes Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and a host of others, joined by Shirley MacLaine (Oscar for Best Actress, Terms of Endearment), who plays Martha Levinson, the very American mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (McGovern).

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