ITV have announced the that the next series of transatlantic hit Downton Abbey will be its last.
Julian Fellowes, writer, creator and Executive Producer of Downton Abbey, one of the UK’s biggest ever drama exports said,
“The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea. Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment.”
Downton Abbey is the highest rating UK drama of the past decade across any channel, with an average of 11 million viewers over the course of the five series, including Christmas specials.
ITV’s Director of Television, Peter Fincham said, “When Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame brought us the idea for Downton Abbey six years ago we thought it would be a great Sunday night series for ITV, but we had no way of knowing that it would become a global phenomenon playing to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. What a ride it’s been – for everyone involved in the production, for the cast, and most of the all for the audience. We all thought very carefully about the right moment to bring something so special to a close that felt editorially right, and left viewers wanting more. Christmas Day on ITV this year will certainly be one to remember, as the concluding special brings a series to an end that started as a leap of faith for all of us, and ended surpassing all expectations.”
The Golden Globe®, Emmy®, PGA, BAFTA, National Television Awards and Screen Actors Guild award-winning show, debuted on ITV in 2010 and has since become a global phenomenon. Downton Abbey is now in over 250 territories worldwide.
Series six is expected this autumn on ITV.