Exclusive: Most of Downton Abbey Cast Re-Signs Through Season 5! Who's Holding Out?

Downton Abbey Seasons 4 and 5Heirs shmeirs! Whether it’s Matthew or the man without a face who inherits it, the future of Downton Abbey is secure!

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that most of the principal cast of PBS’ cultural phenomenon — including Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora), Hugh Bonneville (Robert), Joanne Froggatt (Anna) and Brendan Coyle (Bates) — have inked new deals through the show’s fourth and fifth season.

Those who have yet to sign on the dotted line (the key word there being yet) are Dan Stevens (Matthew), Siobhan Finneran (O’Brien) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil).

Abbey to Take on Mad Men at the Emmys!

The cast’s original pacts carried them through the currently-in-production Season 3 (slated to air stateside in January 2013). The new contracts were inked despite the fact that Abbey has yet to be officially renewed beyond Season 3.

Last month’s Season 2 finale drew a series-best 5.4 million viewers and earned PBS its best numbers in three years.

Comments (137)

  • All I know is they better sign those last three to come back!!! The cast is amazing and Without Matthew omg…. that would just be horrible. And O’brien too!!! Sybil is part of the main family…. that would suck too!!!

    Comment by Debbie – March 4, 2012 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please broadcast season three in
    US in the fall of 2012, same as in UK!

    Comment by Abbey fan – March 4, 2012 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Such a smart show. I am so invested in all the characters I would hate to loose any of them. But, I think the loss of Maggie Smith and her wonderful 30 second scenes would be the greatest loss.

    Comment by Nike Henson – March 4, 2012 08:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wonder if Maisse Dobbs will become a neighbor?

    Comment by bunkr – March 5, 2012 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally agree, whenever something gets too serious or dramatic, i wait for her reaction. I’ll never forget her scene with Matthew in the swivel chair. Ha ha ..

    Comment by Ronnie – March 6, 2012 05:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My 3 favorites are: Isobel Crawley, Mrs. Patmore & Matthew Crawley. The casting for Downton is just incredible…

    Comment by Sandra – March 7, 2012 05:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is true, but it may not be a bad decision. He’s not asking to be released early a la Caruso and will have given the show 3 full seasons. By the sheer fact that it’s a period show, Downton must end at some point. Who knows what will happen but we should refrain from casting aspersions when most of what we know is speculation. Let Downton get renewed first before we worry about who will or won’t be there. That being said, of ANYONE with the last name Crawley leaves, I’m done watching. This show works because of the ensemble present, especially the upstairs and the principal downstairs (Carson, Hughes, O’Brien, Thomas, the Bateses, Patmore, Daisy). To lose any of them and it won’t work the same. There are too many instances where someone core to the show has been replaced and it does not work. Case in point, the ratings landslide do BBC’s Robin Hood after a major character was killed off at the of season 2. IMHO best to go out on top then linger past the show’s sell date. While season 2 did well, the story lines were not good, and if season 3 is the same, there won’t be a season 4 and this will all be moot. That’s all I have to say.

    Comment by Sells – March 8, 2012 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And look what happened for years to Caruso after he left his successful show when his ego got too big for his talent. He’s been back again for years on the CSI show but he’s absolutely stuck there.

      Comment by Viktoria Barbera – November 4, 2012 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dan Stevens is headed for stardom.He’s got it all!!Stay on
    as Matthew Dan.You can fill in all your other offers too.
    The casting director is amazing.Everyone just perfect.
    Keep them all!!!!

    Comment by paula kleban – March 12, 2012 09:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watch Abbey on Amazon.com. I’m in U.S. I just love it. January or September, which is it for season 3 to begin? I read both. Guess I’ll find out. I can’t watch it on Amazon until after each episode shows on TV. Happily I started watching it for the first time after the 2nd season was almost over so I went back and watched it from the beginning of season one. I also watched that series before this one called Brideshead Revisited which I did not like. It was quite depressing. It can’t hold a candle to Abbey.

    Comment by jill – March 12, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Dan Stevens isn’t going to be around for Season 4 I think Julian Fellowes should advance the plot 16-17 years to the beginning of WWII. Then some older guy can be “Matthew” as he presumably would look like at that time. He and Mary can have a son who joins the RAF at an absurdly young age and is at a risk of dying every episode. You get the drift…..

    Comment by Tom Calhoun – March 25, 2012 02:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Its sad for us to have to wait till january of next year for the 3rd season. I do hope they all sign back up for another go. Dame Maggie Smith i fear will be the one to exit. Ive been readinf she thinks 3 seasons is enough. After all the drama and sorrow of season two im hoping they add in some good fun this time around. COME ON BACK EVERYONE OF DOWNTON ABBEY!!! We love each and evey one of you!

    Comment by dawnjm – April 17, 2012 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Remember “Monarch of the Glen” when Archie left, or “Ballykissangel” when Father Peter and Assumpta left? Both shows limped along for a couple of seasons but the heart was gone and it was never the same. Matthew and Mary are the heart of “Downton Abbey” and without them, although there are many excellent story lines to pursue, the series would be forever altered, not necessarily for the better. Although I hope there is more mention of the Irish Troubles and the involvement of our two favorite rebels.

    Comment by Steven Kegger – May 10, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I came late to this great TV programme. Is there any way I can see it from the very start? J,M,Ferrier

    Comment by Mrs J Ferrier – June 21, 2012 06:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You can get it on Netflix and there are several other ‘free TV’ options on the Internet as well. Project Free TV is one of many and probably the safest (virus wise).

      Comment by Viktoria Barbera – November 4, 2012 08:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Any Downton Abbey tee shirts in the making?

    Comment by Mary Beth – July 11, 2012 07:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Maggie Smith’s character reminds me of my mother-in-law….always has something to say but no one ever listens to her. Love her.

    Comment by Lucy – July 12, 2012 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Matthew dies after Mary marries him, and Mary does NOT produce a son, who is the next Earl? Will it be Sybill’s son with Branson (born Series 3?). Who is next in line after Mathew? Sounds like Dan Stevens does NOT want to do a Series 4 or 5- I think he will be the one killed off!

    Comment by caroline – July 18, 2012 01:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sorry, Caroline, they don’t have a son, and even if they did, he wouldn’t and couldn’t inherit.

      Comment by Sarah Dixon – November 6, 2012 06:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ll be honest, although I have my favourite characters I think Downton needs ALL of them, Sybi/Branson/DowagerCountess/Thomas/Cora/ect to keep it’s originality and attraction. Come on Downton!

    Comment by Shannon – August 12, 2012 08:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dan Stevens is NOT coming back to Season 4 as he’s moved to New York. Not sure why he’s doing a Broadway play then that only holds 700 people in the audience and has B and C-list actors in it. He’s probably trying to be the next Hugh Grant. Unless DA offers Dan Stevens a HUGE, and I mean HUGE salary, he is GONE!!!! Matthew will be killed off, leaving Mary pregnant, which of course will predicable be born a boy. Don’t care about Sybil/Tom, Daisy, Cora, at all. I can’t see DA going past a Season 4. There’s just not that much storyline left now that the Crawley sisters are all married.

    Comment by Carla – October 10, 2012 12:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Who is the heir after Matthew Crawley is killed off and Mary possibly does NOT have a boy? He is the 3rd cousin, once removed, so they will have to find the 4th cousin? If Edith Strallen has a boy, does he have any chance to inherit the title? Will they freak everyone out and bring back Patrick Gordon/Crawley? That storyline was idiotic and could have been good, if only he had a British accent.

    Comment by Carla – October 10, 2012 12:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hate to have to rain on the parade, but that everybody has signed to series 4 and 5 is rubbish. There isn’t even a series 4 yet (seven episodes into series 3). And no, Carla, if Edith has a boy he won’t inherit. The whole point of the series is that inheritance has to come via the male line. If Mary and Matthew do not have a son, and no heir can be found, the title goes into abeyance until an heir is found – and that can take years.

    Comment by Sarah Dixon – October 29, 2012 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show. I’ve been a devoted watcher and fan since the first episode on PBS. Then I discovered ways to watch it on the computer from ITV, the British version. The American PBS cuts each show! They say it makes no difference to the story line, but I beg to differ. The small scenes they cut out and the missing dialog (10 to 15 minutes for each episode) make a HUGE difference in some of the shows.

    Hopefully each member of the cast will return, but even if they don’t, as long as the story progresses as it has, centering around the estate and saving it, the show can remain as good as it has been so far. After all, in real life, people move on, die and are born, the same should happen on Downton Abbey as well.

    I just wish that PBS would show the unabridged Downton Abbey as it was made and meant to be seen. It’s very much better.

    Comment by Viktoria Barbera – November 4, 2012 08:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Do u know what happens between Mary and Matthew does Mary get pregnant because they be so great parents if she is

    Comment by Rachael Barnes – November 5, 2012 02:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sybil unfortunately dies after giving birth to the baby. It’s easy enough to get the episodes online. The director did confirm that Dan would remain part of the cast, but Jessica has had her final run and will not be recast.

    Comment by Healthy Dose – November 24, 2012 12:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Order Season 3 from Amazon UK and watch it now! You can hook your computer to your television if your DVD is not region compatible, A mere 18.00 pounds will answer all your questions about Sybil, Anna, Bates, Thomas, etc…

    Comment by CindyLoveland – December 3, 2012 03:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love Downton Abby. Can’t wait to pre-order Season 4 and 5t!!!!

    Comment by Nola – February 12, 2013 07:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • America should have a extended version of Downton Abbey, headed by Matriarch Shirley McClaine ….

    Comment by Max530 – February 18, 2013 12:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Carson’s character he’s more snobbish than his employers.

    Comment by maud – February 18, 2013 04:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I cannot believe they killed both Sybil and Matthew off! The two least judgmental people in the family! What a sad season!

    Comment by Erin – February 21, 2013 12:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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