It's True: Downton Abbey's Sixth Season Will Officially Be Its Last

Downton Abbey Ending

Good news, Downton Abbey fans: You will not be subjected to Lady Mary’s nursing-home years. And the reason brings us to some bad news: The PBS phenom is going the way of Isis the dog.

Multiple sources confirm to TVLine that Downton‘s upcoming sixth season will indeed be its last.

UPDATE: On March 26, the news was officially announced, with EP Gareth Neame saying in a statement:

Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception. We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up…

The decision to end Downton was mostly a practical one — the cast’s contracts expire at the end of Season 6 and, with one or two possible exceptions, the actors are ready to move on.

“You can keep the show going without Matthew and Sybill, but you can’t continue it without the entire Crawley family,” an insider notes.

A spokesperson for NBC Universal (the parent of Downton producer Carnival) declined to comment for this story.

Setting an end date now allows Downton creator Juliian Fellowes to send the series out on a satisfying note, before turning his attention to his long-gestating NBC drama The Gilded Age.

Earlier this month, the Dowager Countess herself, Maggie Smith, acknowledged that the end was near. “I can’t see how it could go on,” she told the Sunday Times. “I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

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107 Comments
  1. herman1959 says:

    That’s the way to do it – go out on top.

    • Concerned says:

      Too bad it didn’t end three years ago when that statement could have been true…

      • Ash says:

        This. But it’s finally ending, after all.

      • Simon says:

        Aren’t you the same person who was just slagging off about the heroes reboot. So basically you are a troll. Get a life. And downtown has been great this past season but no point in telling you since you prob don’t watch just troll.

        • Simon says:

          * Downton

          • Concerned says:

            Um I don’t think it’s “trolling” to comment on two articles that just happen to be one after the other, one about a really terrible show that should never be brought back, the other about a show way past its prime that’s become a caricature of itself the last few years.

  2. Deion says:

    All good things must end. We salute you, Crawley family.

  3. Marion says:

    It’s time. Downton has been sliding downhill since the end of season 1, and has become a parody of itself. Julian Fellowes is a film writer–he knows how to pace a story for two hours, but anything beyond that and he struggles to keep plots and character development interesting.

  4. Sarah says:

    Didn’t bother after they killed off both Sybill and Matthew too clise together. Read recaps now and then and no regrets. Was a blast while it lasted for me, though !

    • Reta Mebdoza says:

      I hate for Downtown Abbey to end. I love the show. I don’t know why each Season has to fast forward so many years. Maggie Smith can stay on several more years as the rest of the cast. What a BIG disappointment. This show is the cleanest soap ever. The beauty of the Castle, the wardrobe, and hairstyles, and mannerism has been so entertaining. Please don’t cancel this show. I hated though how Matthew Character was killed off so quickly. To see them happy made a beautiful story. It’s pretty sad when none of the Crawley ladies have happiness. I just think advancing each season by 5 years or so is if course why Maggie will be too old too soon. She is awesome, as the whole cast. Please if it has to end let Carson and Mrs Hughes Bates and Anna live Happily ever after.

      • Nadia says:

        Totally agree! What a shame to end something i love and enjoy so much. I wish it could go on forever.

        • doreen walters says:

          Downton was a shining light in all of the rubbish that we have come to expect from our television shows, there is hardly anything worth watching so it is such a pity that we are now seeing the end of this great drama with brilliant actors, thank you to all of them

      • azarua collins says:

        I agree! Please don’t end the show… if the young and restless can go for over 20 yr. then why can’t we watch the kids grow up and take over the reign?

    • Ines says:

      Sybill’s death was planned, they wanted to show women died of childbirth back then.
      Matthew wasn’t supposed to die, he was supposed to live a happy life with Mary. However, he wanted out of the show to pursue a career in the US and wasn’t willing to appear sporadically, so they had to come up with a way to explain his absence. Fellows explained at the time that he hoped the actor would come around and so the storyline continued as planned, otherwise he wouldn’t have killed Sybil so soon.

  5. Pia says:

    Glad to hear The Gilded Age is still alive.

    • delfiteblu says:

      It’s been all over the web that the Gilded Age is still going on. Right after the DA finale everybody was upset about a rumor that #6 would be the last season and Julian Fellowes said it wouldn’t necessarily be the last. So did Gareth Neame, the director. And Maggie Smith recanted what she had said.

  6. Larc says:

    Well, I for one will miss it.

  7. SANDY says:

    I will really be mad if CBS cancels CSI. They aren’t giving this show a chance putting it on at stupid hours 10:00p.m. at night really

    • Nona says:

      At what time you prefer the show will be? 7pm? Maybe because CSI is for adults is why they put it on a later hour?

  8. Ron says:

    Shame. Instead of canceling, I would have jumped forward to WW II and age the children as the main characters. That way they could easily write off any actors that want to leave and keep anyone that might want to stay on a recurring basis.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I would be very interested in following Sybie, George and Marigold as main characters but only if Fellowes were to write episode 1 and than bring in additional writers since the series needs someone besides Fellowes to help with plot.

    • Grey says:

      I like that story idea as well Ron. It would also be interesting, via a bigger time jump, to find out what the present day “Crawleys” (and household staff) are up to. Not a whole series but maybe with one episode.

      • Grey says:

        When I say “household staff” I mean their decendants. I don’t expect the same people to still be working in the kitchen, etc. LOL!

    • Sandi Schmidt says:

      Yes! Great ideas.

    • Vicki Johnson says:

      Thats a great idea, shame ur not the wtiter.

  9. dj says:

    This show will be missed dearly, but hopefully, The Gilded Age will be a good replacement

  10. Bill says:

    This is not news. It has been known for months that season 6 would be the last. But I guess when NBC Universal “officially” confirms it, you will put out another Breaking News flash.

  11. Thank goodness! Dreadful writing. Maggie the best

  12. Katie T says:

    It’s not been confirmed in the UK yet but there’s been gossip for months. I don’t think in the UK sense that season 6 is the end though as Hugh Bonneville has already said that there will be a Christmas special. So the Christmas special will be the last episode rather than the end of season 6 as there’s always a month gap between a season ending here and the Christmas special.

  13. Monica4185 says:

    Why all the denial? If in the end they still were going to end the show. I’m glad is ending.

    • Katie T says:

      I think the denial is simply becauseI don’t think it’s NBC’s announcement to make. I’d expect the official announcement will come through ITV in the UK before anywhere else as that’s it’s home channel. It won’t be announced in the US before it’s confirmed here in the UK

  14. Liz says:

    It has had its ups and downs, but I’ve still always enjoyed Downton. It will be missed!!

  15. suzyku says:

    I stopped watching after season 4! Got boring

  16. tph says:

    It’s the right decision. Now let’s go out with a bang and I don’t mean literally!

  17. Tran says:

    SHOCKER! So sad that Downton Abbey is now ending after six seasons. Could this mean that the final season will air in the U.S. next year?

    • ABG says:

      Early 2016 as usual. Don’t know why they would change the schedule now. (They didn’t when the show was at it’s peak)

  18. Denise says:

    Oh No !! I love Downton Abbey and will miss it. I was born 100 years too late. That feels just like my era. I never even heard of The Gilded Age. When is it on and what channel ? If it’s anything like Downton , then I will watch it.

  19. Ally Oop says:

    I’m so sad to hear the news but I think it’s better to end it well then to have it fizzle out after more actors’ departures .Downton Abbey is my favourite show currently on television and I’m always thankful when a show gets a good run.

  20. delfiteblu says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  21. Mickey Lane says:

    I have so enjoyed this and will miss it so much. Thank you the enjoyment. Best wishes to the all the actors.

  22. Joey says:

    Still think the earlier film Gosford Park was better, but who am I to judge.

  23. Suzanne Fortier says:

    I am truly sorry to see it end. I really enjoyed that show much more that anticipated. Let’s hope that The Gilded Age will have the same effect and entrance us.

  24. NP says:

    Nooooooo!

  25. I loved the show very much but was also very disappointed. The show had a tremendous amount going for it and it could have continued for a long time except for one thing – the writing. In every episode, in every season, I could see how the writers just let the ball drop. They could have done so much more with it. For instance: how about if Ethyl’s father in law dies and the son inherits a fortune. Ethyl is still the baby’s legal guardian, and is finally able to live the lifestyle of the wealthy. She returns to England and visits Downton. Downtoners can not recognize her but they feel that they know her. She never lets on as to who she really is. Little things like that would have enriched the series. Also, regressing Mary’s personality back to before the war was just a horrendously wrong move. They could have grown her character out and she becomes the new head of the whole estate. And we could have seen that shift in power when Violet does pass. So much possibility, so much overlooked. Very disappointed.

      • Katie T says:

        Ethyl was the maid that had the son with a soldier I think it was, who died and the soldier’s father disowned the child at first. If I remember rightly the child ended up living with the soldier’s parents but Ethyl ended up acting as the child’s nanny, or a nanny for another family near the child so she could be close to him, I can’t remember which

  26. Heritage De Projet says:

    This is actually good news IMO. Going out while the show still has strong viewership is the way to go. Another reason for me would have to be that the quality of the show just hasn’t been the same since the end of season 3, the Christmas in the Highlands episode pales in comparison to the season 2 Christmas episode and season 4 was a shell of the show’s former brilliance. While Downton did get better in Season 5 (the Christmas episodes an improvement over the season 4 as well), it just doesn’t have the same quality and I started noticing a lot of what I call re-trends (looping of similar story lines) starting from season 3 on. I still wish Dan and Jessica stuck around for another season or two, but it is what it is. Hopefully Julian Fellowes can return to full duty (he was only a consultant last season) in order to give a proper ending to a fantastic series.

    • Heritage De Projet says:

      Forgot to mention, with Downton Abbey ending, I wonder if when/if we’ll get to the the Robert and Cora prequel that has been talked about.

      • herman1959 says:

        This is unlikely because the time and place of The Guilded Age (1880s New York robber barons) is the same setting where Coral was a child. So it will be a prequel of sorts on NBC, not BBC/PBS with different characters and maybe some related ones.

    • mamie says:

      Julian Fellowes wrote all 43 episodes, including last season’s. That’s not how you do consulting.

      • Heritage de Projet says:

        For some reason I seemed to recall that Fellowes took a back seat last season. Obviously that doesn’t seem to be the case. Oh well, nothing wrong with being wrong once and a while. My memory isn’t what it used to be I suppose

  27. jabd3 says:

    A part of me doesn’t want it to end, but a bigger part of me thinks that it’s time. I don’t see it going too much further.

  28. Why not simply say –Wonderfully written and all of the actors were FANTASTIC

  29. Drew says:

    It has to end sometime. It might be interesting if the final season did time jumps for each character, showing them at the end of their lives, and how the world has changed around them. End with Mary as old as Violet is now, giving her grandkids a hard time.

  30. delfiteblu says:

    I’ll believe it when I see Julian Fellowes or Gareth Neame say it. This rumor went around right after the finale and they both said it was NOT ending. I’ve heard more than one actor on the show say they would stay forever if Downton was around that long and I don’t believe that they all want out of their contracts; they’d be insane. It’s the most talked about show EVER. I normally trust TV Line but I’m not certain this isn’t part of the Friday afternoon news dump. And Maggie Smith (and TV Line should know this) recanted and said she never SAID she was leaving after this season. I’m waiting to see what comes out. They’re already filming – don’t know how far ahead they are but it would certainly mean some revisions.

  31. Jim says:

    There have been many British shows in the past that I thought had good ratings yet the shows were canceled. My theory is the show producers don’t want to pay the high salaries like in the U.S.

  32. Sandy says:

    Am going to miss Downton. It took us back to a time when people had manners. Today, people go out to eat and almost everyone at the table pulls out an electronic device of some sort. In Downton’s time, conversation was an art. Sadly, no one seems to care about talking with one another.

    • joan hagle says:

      Completely agree! Some of us are so used to violence and sex in our shows, this was just wonderful to see a different life. Loved all the conversation which is becoming a lost art these days.

  33. ahhh yes, the end of a fantastic meal..the best i’ve had.

  34. Lauren says:

    Thank goodness! This show has going the way of Isis the dog for a while now. Maggie Smith’s wonderful one-liners made watching last season worth it, but not much else. Ending it after next season is a good, wise and, dare I say, noble decision.

  35. debra says:

    Bout time, this season dragged, didn’t count the days til Sunday like prior.Show just doesn’t have it. Hope his FINALE does.

  36. cuius says:

    Death duties and the National Trust get them all in the end

  37. Debra says:

    Sorry concerned feels the way he or she does about Downton Abbey. I found it to be a woderful series and I for one will miss it but I do understand its termination.

  38. TV Gord says:

    I doubt that they’ll do this, but I would like the series to wrap up by taking the family and their staff into the present day to show us where and how descendants are living today. I don’t have the time or patience to read fan fiction about it.

    Likelier, it will end with the death of the Dowager Countess. It would be sad and poignant, if that’s the way it ends, but if it does, I can’t wait to hear what her last words will be!

  39. Luis says:

    It’s the right time, story-wise as well as practically. The way time jumped between seasons, they’d soon be encroaching on the Great Depression, and nobody wants to see that.

  40. Gail says:

    Presumably most of the staff will become Bed and Breakfast owners. Daisy will pass her exams and go live with her father in law. Thomas seems to be the only senior staff not to have a plan for his future. The Crawleys will have to sell Downton when they are wiped out during the Depression. Hopefully the series will end before that happens.

  41. So,Isobel marries Lord Merton,the Dowager dies from a stroke at the news ,Edith takes Marigold to live with Grandmother Levin in Newport,Lady Mary goes to London and lives out her life as a tart,Robt and Cora retire off the lands to Blackpool,Both Anna and Mr. Bates go to prison ,Mrs Hughs and Carson get married and retire to their house,Mrs. Patmore moves to her investment house and maintains a “special friendship” with Wm.s father til death,Daisy decides to go live with Wm.s father,and Thomas does a 380 and denounces his past ways and becomes a vicar and keeps in touch with Baxter for years….have I covered it ?

  42. Timot says:

    I have enjoyed Downton Abbey from the beginning. Very well acted by all. A show like that is very rear. I’m glad to all five season on DVD!

  43. Claryce j. Gibbs says:

    It has been a great show but perhaps it is time for an end.

  44. Timot says:

    I have loved Downton Abbey from the beginning.thw acting has been top notch. Matthew Crawley had to end because Dan Stevens wanted out. So they had to have him die. They wanted Matthew to go away, and make appearances from time to time. He said no. Dan Stevens wanted to be able to make movies. A good one called “The Guest”! Absolutely nothing like Mattew Crawley’

  45. You folks wouldn’t know a good TV Story if you tripped over it.

  46. deborah says:

    I love Downton Abbey, the 1900s, when women looked more like ladies the dress the way one carried themselves, The old cars, the Castle. I feel, that is a home away home. It will be missed, hoping that this fashion will repeat itself, such pride and joy one takes during the era. I Love Maggie Smith as I do the others. I am hoping that the other Actors will see how much Downton Abbey has been loved by the US from across the Pond.

  47. Chris Howard says:

    Imagine an American storyline filmed at the Biltmore Estate. I have looked forward to Downton more than any other show I have ever followed and enjoy the quality of the drama and history. It is a treat to visit a time we can only imagine. Also have thought the time frame was fast forwarded much too quickly when we could have enjoyed more without ending the storyline and aging the characters so quickly.

  48. greysfan says:

    Nooooo. This is one of my favourite shows. I know all good things must come to an end but i’m still very sad to see it go :(

  49. MaryMaroney says:

    The first season of Dowton was wonderful and exciting. I couldn’t wait for the second season to begin. The second season was less interesting; just ‘ok’. Since then, it seems like what could have been a promising series, has gone astray. Rather than focusing on story lines, the producers/directors seem fixated only on the mannerisms, wardrobes, and traditions. The story lines have been railroaded without allowing time to develop, and the time is fast-forwarded with with breakneck speed. We no sooner have hope of an interesting plot, than it is washed over as a non-event. Lady Edith’s pregnancy, which gave some excitement to the show, just ended. One minute she was pregnant and the next, she’s living back home and her child is 3 years old. The subplots are even less interesting. Daisy learning and expanding her world, may be worth amention, but to make it a story line is rather dull. Similarly with the other story plots. Nothing is explored in depth. It went from being exciting to… who cares. Sure, make sure they have their gloves on if it’s proper, but that’s the reason viewers turn in to watch a show. We need a reason to come back week after week. And it’s odd that for as many years as have flown by on the show (remember, it began with the sinking of the Titanic), the characters haven’t aged. I wish the writers had taken as much time with the story lines as they did with presenting the historical facts of a changing society. If they had, I think this series could have been a smashing success for many more seasons.

  50. HARD VOICES says:

    I suspect a comeback after this