Julian Fellowes on the end of Downton Abbey: “It’s not really my decision – I don’t own it now”

The creator of the ITV drama insists he doesn't know when NBC Universal will call time on Downton, but reveals he is going to make a pilot for The Gilded Age "this year"

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Julian Fellowes has revealed he has no say on when Downton Abbey will end.

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The hit period drama’s writer and creator has spoken out, as rumours continue that series six will be the last, saying: “It’s not really my decision. I don’t own Downton Abbey now.”

“NBC Universal [who owns Carnival Films] owns Downton Abbey. So I could walk away,”  he continues, adding: “But I wouldn’t walk away. It’s too much my baby.”

While Fellowes told New York Times he “can’t immediately now tell you where the end will be”, he isn’t keen on it going on much longer: “It won’t go on forever — I’m not a believer in that.” 

Especially if that means venturing into post-World War II territory. 

“For me, that would be a different series,” he says. “Maybe people would say, ‘Oh my God, that’s baby George, grown up!’ But I don’t think it would be continuous, with Michelle Dockery with her hair covered with talcum powder.”

One thing is for sure, though: the wheels do appear to be in motion for a world post-Downton.

Fellowes, who has previously said he won’t start work on his new NBC series The Gilded Age until he’s put Robert, Cora, Violet and co to bed, revealed in the same interview that he’s “going to do the pilot this year.”

So whichever way you look at it, it does seem the end is nigh for the Crawleys… 

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Downton Abbey returns to ITV later this year