Downton Abbey executive producer dismisses show ending speculation
Story by Jack Foley
GARETH Neame, executive producer of hit period drama Downton Abbey, has moved to end speculation that the end of the show is in any way imminent.
Responding to comments made by series creator Julian Fellowes in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which he suggested that season five could well be its last, Neame said that nothing could be further from the truth.
Downton Abbey continues to be a massive ratings hit for ITV in the UK, while in the US the season four premiere attracted a record average audience of 10.2 million.
Neame, who is managing director of the show’s production company Carnival Films, issued a statement to put the record straight and clarify any confusion caused by Fellowes’ comments, or their subsequent reporting.
The statement read: “I can confirm that there are no plans to end the show after the fifth series. ITV commission each series on a year-by-year basis.
“In an interview given to The Wall Street Journal, Julian Fellowes stated that the show would not go on forever (inevitable of course and something both he and I have been on the record for previously). For now, ITV has commissioned series five and that is what we are busy preparing.”
For the record, those Fellowes comments were: “I don’t know yet if there is a season six, but it’s not going to go on forever. It won’t be Perry Mason.”
His comments came in relation to being asked about the American drama, The Gilded Age, which he is also intending to write, and to which he declared that it would be impossible for him to work on both.
“It’s for NBC Universal and it will happen when Downton finishes because I just couldn’t do both at once,” he said.