‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3 Trailer – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Published 3 years ago by

January 6, 2013 may seem like an eternity for Downton Abbey season 3 to premiere US but over in the UK, fans are gearing up for the season premiere next month, and ITV is beginning its promotion campaign. These promos center around the highly anticipated showdown between Dame Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine. Both are incredible actresses in their own right, both look fantastic in period costumes, and both of the 20-second teasers just released for season 3 will leave fans begging for more.

Forget that Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) is married and pregnant with the chauffer’s baby, or that Bates (Brendan Coyle) is in prison pining for his Anna (Joanne Froggatt), or that Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens) are planning a wedding – what Downton Abbey fans on both sides of the pond are looking forward to in this third series is the battle of the mother-in-laws. 

Obviously time and war have done nothing to soften the Dowager Countess’ acerbic wit and if she can bring polite dinner conversation to a screeching halt it’s anyone’s guess what will happen when the object of her ire appears. No one puts on proper British airs like Dame Maggie Smith and it should be interesting to see if this tiff causes a rift between she and Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) as well after all the progress they made these past two seasons.

If the first teaser (above) hints at the brilliance Smith brings to Downton, the second (below) highlights how bringing Shirley MacLaine on board as Martha Levinson as Cora’s mother can only make things that much better. Right off the bat it seems MacLaine gives as good as she gets, having no more qualms about offending her host than her host has toward her. It’s sure to be a battle of the wits all the way and one that will hook both British and American audiences. In this second clip it almost seems as if ITV is hinting that the Dowager Countess has the upper hand, so it will be interesting to see if the marketing approach is any different when it airs in the States.

Other Downton news that’s been released over in the UK includes the arrival of some financial hardships for the family upstairs, which will stir up trouble for the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and prolong the Mary/Matthew drama just a few klicks further. Fret not however, the wedding’s already been filmed. Meanwhile, with a downstairs sans William (Thomas Howes) and Bates four fresh faces will be joining the cast in the form of two new maids – Cara Theobold and Lucille Sharp – and two new footmen – Matt Milne and Ed Speleers.

This show has already established its fan base on both sides of the pond and with all of the new elements building on such a sturdy foundation it seems almost certain series three can do nothing less than thoroughly succeed.


Downton Abbey season 3 premieres January 6, 1213 on PBS.

Follow Heather on Twitter @thnx4thegum.

Source: E!

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  1. Dang it! We missed the date by like 800 years. It’s already premiered here in America apparently…..

  2. In coincidence I have just run through a Downton Abbey marathon
    of my own the last few nights finally catching up with this series.
    And it is an elegant soap opera as only the English can pull off.

    The story lines are well written and I must say addictive.
    The main romance does not quite work in my estimation
    but of course I play along because we need it to work.

    I have been accused of being a hopeless romantic
    all my life — a charge I would convict myself of.
    So I fill in the blanks of which there are many.

    Shirley versus Maggie should be worth the
    admission price alone for season three.

  3. i love Downton abbey and can’t seem to find when the third series is on tv can someone put me out of my misery please .

    • Downton Abbey season 3 will be aired in January 2013 in the U.S.

  4. I really hope someone in the know tells Americans what the executive producer…Ms. Rebecca Eaton has cut/edited from series 3. In the first two series it was advertised as uncut…they were the same as the UK version…only to find out Ms. Eaton cut some and some of what was cut were a few of Dame Maggie Smith’s retorts. Horrors! Why? When the public loves her. Next she cut the conversation about inheritance in England during this time because…in her words…Americans wouldn’t understand it and Americans want a faster paced show. Is Ms Eaton even aware of the heavy criticism of that and what she did? Now recently she critized Dame Smith saying how difficult she was to deal with…but, she added, Dame Maggie Smith always delivers. Good heavens, what is with this Ms Eaton. Please notify us if Ms Eaton cuts/edits anything from series 3. If she does then kindly don’t advertise series 3 as ‘the uncut version from the UK’

  5. I am so looking forward to Season 3! Too bad we in the US have to wait until January 2013. Based on the two clips here, it looks like it’ll well worth the wait.

  6. I love Downton Abbey. I love the fact that all the working class people are either cringingly honourable forelock tuggers, prepared to hurl themselves in front of exploding artillery shells in order to save the lives of their betters OR are chain smoking evil, cowardly self-wounders (to get out of the WWI trenches) & schemers who’ll do something like place a bar of soap on the floor to rob the Lord & Lady of a beloved male heir.

    I love how the show totally ignores the dire, grinding poverty the vast majority of people lived in in those days, without the vote, health services, welfare , education, Morrisons to wander around in their pyjamas or inside toilets. In those halcyon, carefree days of one long fancy dress garden party for the right sort of people, His Lordship of Snob-on-the-Box, Julian Kitchener Fellowes, show us, over & over again, just how so much, much better things were back then, when the Tories controlled everything, just as God had always intended. Hurrah!

  7. My English roots are screaming… I need this show! Albeit the truth that my ancestors were decidedly “downstairs” gentry… I have already preordered the series in its entirety from Amazon; comes out first week of February. Oh to live in a dream! That is why television was invented, was it not?

  8. I absolutely love Downton Abbey but am so very upset with
    Dan Stevens leaving. Please keep him. and do not let him leave.
    It would not seem right without him since he has been in it since
    the beginning. No one else could take his place!

    • I so Downton Abbey without Matthew is unthinkable! Maybe it is only a tease to build up fan support as last years cliffhanger with the bombing of NCIS headquarters