Downton Abbey “easily could have gone for a seventh season” says producer

The Christmas episode of Downton Abbey didn't need to be the final one, reveals executive producer Gareth Neame

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Downton Abbey fans aren’t really looking forward to Christmas this year. Because 25th December is bringing us the gift we desperately don’t want: the final ever episode of the hit ITV period drama

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And just as we thought we were ready, poised to witness the final farewells of our favourite characters, the show’s executive producer has revealed that this week’s Christmas special didn’t need to be the last. 

“We easily could have gone for a seventh season,” Neame has revealed, speaking to Deadline in the United States. 

What a way to taunt us. I mean, it’s not like they are actually going to make it or anything. But they could have done. We could have “easily” had another glorious year with the Crawleys. 

It would seem Downton Abbey’s end came down to cast. “If I’d have said, “We haven’t got Maggie”, it would have been a shadow of itself,” Neame added. 

“Nobody regrets ending when we did,” he continued. “We have a final season that’s as strong as the first because we quit while we were ahead — we had the ambition that we had a complete show.”

And of course, while we mourn the ending of our beloved drama – and the seventh series that never was – we still have that much-discussed Downton Abbey film to dream about…

“Julian [Fellowes, the show’s creator] and I are keen,” concludes Neame. “There is no script and no firm plan but it’s certainly something there is talk of… we’ll know more next year.”

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Downton Abbey: the Finale airs on Christmas Day at 8:45pm on ITV