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Downton Abbey to return for third season

Downton Abbey

Story by Jack Foley

ITV has commissioned a third series of Downton Abbey.

To be set in the 1920s, the drama will cover a period of 18 months in the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them.

Audience figures for the second series have increased by over 21 per cent on the first, with an average of 11.5 million viewers watching the first six episodes – making it the most popular drama series on UK television for over 10 years.

As the second series draws to a close this Sunday (November 6, 2011), viewers can look forward to the Downton Abbey Christmas Special, which includes guest appearances from Nigel Havers.

Commenting on the decision to renew, Laura Mackie, ITV’s director of drama commissioning, said: ‘‘We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing Downton Abbey back for a third series, as we follow the inhabitants of Downton as they move into the Roaring Twenties.

‘‘It’s rare to find a drama that the audience connects with so strongly and we’re extremely proud to have commissioned a series that has become such a phenomenon.’‘

Series creator and writer Julian Fellowes added: “I am extremely grateful to ITV for this. I have grown very fond of my Downton family and I certainly do not want to say goodbye to them quite yet.”

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