Downton Abbey to return for a third series

Downton Abbey to return for a third series

The cast of hit ITV1 costume drama Downton Abbey are all set to swing into the 1920s after television bosses commissioned a third series.

The show follows the Crawley family and their servants into the post-war world of 1920 and 1921 Britain.

The current series, which has seen the characters come to terms with the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919, has had a more critical reception than the first.

Its complicated plot turns and the number of adverts have seen it come under fire.

However, even more viewers have tuned in than before, with an average audience of 11.5 million watching the first six episodes of season two.

Stars including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle will all appear in the new series.

ITV's director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie said:

"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."

Photo: © ITV

Friday November 4, 2011

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