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‘Downton Abbey’ renewed for Season 5

‘Downton Abbey’ renewed for Season 5
Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham, left, and Jim Carter as Mr. Carson from the series “Downton Abbey.” The fourth season will debut Jan 5, 2014.
(Joss Barratt / Associated Press)

Just as “Downton Abbey” fans are gearing up for the Season 4 debut of their beloved period drama, which is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2014, it’s been announced that there will be a fifth season.

The show, which will continue to air on PBS’ “Masterpiece Classics” in the United States and ITV in the U.K., has proven a pop-culture phenomenon for PBS. It’s actually the network’s most-watched drama ever.

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PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of ‘Downton Abbey’

Created by Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” first aired in 2010 and has since garnered much critical acclaim and won a number of Golden Globe and Emmy awards. It takes place in the Yorkshire country estate called Downton Abbey and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and its live-in staff during the early 20th century — a time of massive change for the British class system.

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Downton Abbey is a Carnival Films and Masterpiece co-production, and although the show seemed a shoo-in for renewal due to its unprecedented popularity, nothing was for sure thanks to a variety of factors, including how in demand Fellowes has been outside the series.

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