Brit hit “Downton Abbey” has been renewed for a fourth season in the U.K., it was announced by ITV on Friday.
The renewal news comes three weeks after “Abbey’s” Season 3 finale aired across the pond, wrapping up its highest-rated season to date.
PBS, the channel that airs “Downton Abbey” in the United States, has yet to confirm if they will air Season 4, but it seems very likely considering the show’s huge success.
“We’re thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe,” said ITV executive Laura Mackie in a statement. “Creator, writer and executive producer Julian Fellowes and the production team, led by Gareth [Neame] and the producer Liz Trubridge, never rest on their laurels and have exciting plans for the fourth series.”
Production on Season 4, which will consist of eight new episodes that take place in the early 1920s, is scheduled to begin in February 2013 and is expected to premiere in fall 2013.
Although “Abbey” fans have to wait until January for Season 3 to debut stateside, this weekend, you can catch-up with a Season 2 recap/Season 3 preview special hosted by Angela Lansbury that revisits the series’ highlights and features interviews with cast members Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery and Siobhan Finneran.
The special “Downton Abbey Revisited” airs this Sunday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m. (and repeats at 9:30 p.m.) on PBS.
The U.S. premiere of “Downton Abbey” Season 3 begins Jan. 6, 2013 on PBS.