Downton and out? Julian Fellowes hints series 5 will be the last for the hit ITV period drama

The Crawley saga will not “go on forever” says the creator who has plans to start work on a new show, The Gilded Age, when Downton Abbey is concluded

Downton Abbey series five could be the last, according to the show’s creator Julian Fellowes.


The hit period drama, which has been a mainstay of autumn Sunday nights in ITV’s schedule since it began in 2010, will not “go on forever” according to Fellowes, and will have to end before he begins his new project in the US, The Gilded Age.

“It’s for NBC Universal and it will happen when Downton finishes because I just couldn’t do both at once,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

“I haven’t written it yet, but it’s about the old aristocracy, the Winthrops and the Stuyvesants and the new money of oil and gas and shipping in the 1870s. It will all be fiction – it won’t be real people – but when those families descended on New York, they took over.”

And although Fellowes was happy to confirm series five of the show was still going ahead in autumn 2014, he was not willing to commit beyond that, suggesting the next series could be the last.

“I don’t know yet if there is a season six, but it’s not going to go on for ever. It won’t be Perry Mason.”


Downton Abbey, which stars Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery amongst an ensemble cast, was last on British screens for a feature length special on Christmas Day. It will return for its fifth series on ITV, and PBS Masterpiece in America in 2014.