Maggie Smith Will be Back for DOWNTON ABBEY's Fourth Season

Maggie Smith Will be Back for DOWNTON ABBEY's Fourth Season

TVLine has confirmed that Maggie Smith will officially return for the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY.

The confirmation reportedly came last night from DOWNTON executive produer Gareth Neame, following the Golden Globes.

This past summer, series creater Julian Fellowes wasn't sure if Smith would be back.

"I can't tell you, 'Oh, yes, she's definitely contracted [for Season 4] - because she isn't," he said, as the site reports. "It's entirely up to her when she stays and when she goes."

It was up to Dan Stevens, as well, who, as previously reported, will not be returning.

"With Maggie, you never know," he continued. "Other [actors] sign on for the next series and they sign for this and they sign for that, but she doesn't. She stays her own person. But as far as I'm concerned, I hope she stays with the show until Downton falls down."

Written and created by Julian 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).