Downton Abbey bosses want Julian Fellowes to ‘hand his baby over’ to other writers, sources claim

Downton Abbey hopes that the drama's creator will allow other writers to take the series over when he begins work on the new drama The Gilded Age. But will they succeed?

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So will there be a Downton Abbey series seven?

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The show’s producer Gareth Neame says he has been asked the question “twelve times a day” ever since RadioTimes.com revealed in October that the future of the series was in doubt when series six – which is currently being filmed and will begin airing in September – finishes.

“It’s really the only question you get asked and it’s a bit sad,” Neame said. “How about the fact that the ratings on the first of this current season were the highest ratings of any show in America?”

The sticking point is that creator Julian Fellowes has been seconded to a new project for Downton’s US producers NBC, a 19th Century New York period romp called The Gilded Age. He has claimed he can’t do both that and Downton.

Sources close to the show say that some on the show are trying to persuade Fellowes to relinquish his baby, and allow other writers to take over Downton for a seventh series and beyond. But so far their overtures have been met with no success.

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Neame wouldn’t comment on that however when this was put to him at the Radio Times Covers Party. After all, he’s become quite practised in deflecting questions about the show’s future…