Belfast Telegraph

Downton Abbey set for fifth series

Downton Abbey fans will be delighted to learn that the period drama is returning to ITV for a fifth series next year.

The announcement of a fifth series comes after broadcasting watchdog Ofcom ruled that no action would be taken against the show over its rape storyline, which received 244 complaints.

The fourth series, which was the highest rated drama on television this year with an average of 11.8 million viewers, has now finished.

Gareth Neame, managing director of Carnival Films, which produces the show, said: "We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy played out by some of the most iconic characters on television."

He added: "All the actors and makers of the show continue to be humbled by the extraordinary audience response and want to take the show from strength to strength next year."

Steve November, ITV's director of drama commissioning, said: "We are enormously happy to have Downton Abbey on ITV and we are delighted to be announcing this new series."

The fifth series will be written by Julian Fellowes and executive produced by Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge and Fellowes.

Downton Abbey, produced by Carnival, which is part of NBCUniversal International Television Production, debuted on ITV in 2010. It has since been sold to over 220 territories and is viewed by an estimated global audience of 120 million people.

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