‘Downton Abbey’ Renewed for Season 4; Dan Stevens Departing the Show?

Published 2 years ago by

dan stevens2 Downton Abbey Renewed for Season 4; Dan Stevens Departing the Show?

Today is a day of good news and bad news for Downton Abbey fans. The UK series – which airs on PBS stateside – has been the subject of much critical acclaim since its 2010 premiere. Season 3 has already finished airing overseas and will debut in the U.S. early next year, and we’ve already seen the trailer, which teases a promising storyline for Maggie Smith.

With the same cast and crew in place, there’s no reason to think that Downton Abbey will prove to be anything less than the critical darling it has proven to be in its first two seasons. Additionally, it has brought records ratings to both ITV – which airs the series in the UK – as well as PBS. It’s a no-brainer for both networks then to keep the series going, and now we have confirmation of just that.

According to TV Line, ITV has renewed Downton Abbey for season 4. It should be noted, however, that PBS has yet to make an official announcement that it will follow suit and air the fourth season in the U.S., though it’s expected that the network will indeed do so. In the meantime, ITV executive commented on the show’s renewal:

“We’re thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe. [Series creator] Julian Fellowes and the production team, led by Gareth and the producer Liz Trubridge, never rest on their laurels and have exciting plans [for Season 4].”

dan stevens Downton Abbey Renewed for Season 4; Dan Stevens Departing the Show?

Production on season 4 is scheduled to resume in February 2013, but when it does, it may be without one of its most prominent faces.

According to the UK’s The Sunday Express, a source close to the production has said that Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, will be exiting the series at the beginning of the fourth season.

“Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.”

A source claims that budgetary concerns may have stood in the way of the actor’s return.

“The American network NBC, which owns the production company which makes the show, basically bankrolled the first series. There was talk it didn’t want to put in so much money this time. Even with all this there are still plans to do five series.”

Considering the sizable ensemble cast of Downton Abbey, it makes sense that some cuts may have had to take place to ensure the series’ return. However, ITV has not yet commented on whether or not the actor is indeed leaving the series, though Stevens is expected to appear in the two-hour Christmas special which will precede season four.

Stevens will be the second major star to leave the show recently, as Jessica Brown Findlay recently quit to pursue a film career. As of this writing, she remains one of the top contenders for the role of Sharon Carter in Marvel’s superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Stay tuned as details about Stevens’ potential departure become available.

Downton Abbey season 3 premieres in the U.S. on January 6, 2013 on PBS.


Source: TVLine, The Sunday Express

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  1. If Matthew Crawley goes, so do I. I am extremely “put out”. You weave us thru a web of Matthew and Mary and when we can be happy, when they, finally get happy, and whamo…….Matthew’s baby has not daddy!

    • Agreed!!

  2. Please, please don’t let Matthew go!! He’s such an integral part of Downton Abby! We are avid fans of the show!! Can’t wait for season 4! Don’t let Lady Mary become a widow. Enough sadness already!!!!!

  3. Please can Matthew return?!? I can’t bare to see Downton Abbey with no Matthew! NO. IT JUST CAN NOT HAPPEN!!! I loved him.

  4. Please don’t let Matthew die. He was so happy and Mary was happy. They have a baby!!!!!! Come on, don’t do it.

  5. Don’t let Matthew die!!! They are so happy let him live.

  6. I like this show very much since season 1 Before season 3 was coming, I also read that it will be the 4th season, happy to know. But the last episode of season 3, it makes me so sad and so disappointed. How the show can do this to us, Lady Sybil was gone in season 2 and now Matthew. Dont’ let him die, he is one of the major roles same as Maggie, Lady Mary….. Let him back, otherwise it is not Downton Abbey.

  7. When Brendon Coyle was acting in Lark Rise to Candleford he left thatshow to do Downton Abbey.However they did not kill him. They sent him across country to work.Dan Stevens wishes to move on but they could do likewise
    and send him far away for business reasons. At least then he could make
    cameo appearances once in a while.

  8. I Double Ditto All of the above! Matthew was just getting into Lord Grantham’s position so well, caring, a loving and devoted son, husband, and now father, so much to live for!!!!! Lady Sybil’s untimely death first after the first grandchild’s birth, and now Matthew, especially after the birth of the 2nd grandchild, heir apparent, just doesn’t make sense????? I think you need to cut some other parts, way too much time was spent on Mr. Bates, though I love his and Ana’s love story too, Overall, this a a FANTASTIC story line, which My husband and I can hardly wait for the next season. Love the setting, scenery, costumes, characters that seem like family, as many of us can relate to them in some fashion.

    PLEASE let Matthew Live!!!!!

    • I agree, let Mr Bates and Anna go to open a B&B. That way you can keep matthew.

  9. Not happy if Matthew doesn’t come back. He and lady Mary make the show.

  10. love downton abbey but also loved matthew and mary don’t take away anna and mr bates please

  11. *SPOILER*

    Do you know if Matthew is coming back or not…. I know for sure :’(

  12. Please —— dont let Matthew Die!!!! Please reconsider – this is so not fair, I am still in tears.

  13. I was so disappointed that Matthew would die. In a world with so much sadness I would hope that we fans would be allowed to enjoy the love and happiness between Mary and Mathew and all his plans for Downton Abbey. Even for a little while he and she are the show. Life can be unfair but this is unbelievable!

  14. Please don’t cut Matthew out of the show, I am so in love with him. He makes the whole show. I love watching Downton Abbey. I was so sad to see that Cybil was killed off the show.please don’t do it to Matthew. This is the first time I comment on this.

    • I read on another website that it’s definite that the first episode of season 4 will start with Matthew’s funeral, and I’m in tears! How could they do this! The day little George was born – Matthew was so happy. NOOOO!

  15. Downton Abbey Season 4: I am excited for the addition of Paul Giamatti. I haven’t been able to watch this show because it’s too ridiculous, drama filled and gossip spewing. Matt is dead from all that I have read and Mary must find another suitor… Have fun!