Last week, word came that the ever-popular (and ever-fanciful) Downton Abbey will be coming to an end after the upcoming Season 6. Some fans may have been upset by the news, but it didn’t exactly come out of the blue. Ratings and Downton fervor have been down a bit in recent seasons as cast members have begun exiting the ITV/PBS program. Moreover, while it’s the norm in the U.S. to go on for as long as possible, six seasons of a TV series is almost unheard of in the UK—most run for two, three seasons max.
Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame confirmed today that Season 6 will indeed be the show’s last, but he also revealed to E! Online that there could be life after the series wraps up, saying a Downton Abbey movie is not off the table:
“Our position on that is we would be very interested in [a Downton Abbey movie]. It is definitely something we’re contemplating. It would be great fun to do. I think it would be a wonderful extension of everything that people loved about the TV show, but I can’t confirm that it’s definitely going to happen,” Neame said, citing the planning and thinking that would be involved in mounting the effort. “We shall see.”
Series creator Julian Fellowes has a bit of experience in the feature film world, winning an Oscar for his Gosford Park screenplay. Of course that was some time ago and, given that Downton’s premise seems a bit exhausted already, I’m not entirely convinced that after eight more hourlong installments and a two-hour Christmas special there will be even more story to tell in a Downton Abbey movie.
But of course, even if this happens, it’s still a ways off. Production on Season 6 will begin later this year for a late 2015 debut on ITV and an early 2016 premiere on PBS.
What do you think, readers? Is there enough story left to warrant a Downton Abbey movie? Are you excited by the prospect of donning your fanciest evening wear and experiencing Downton in the theater? Sound off in the comments below.