Downton Abbey Sneak Peek Video: Shirley MacLaine Throws Shade at Dowager Countess!

If Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess is the disdain-dropping Godzilla of Downton Abbey, then brace for the arrival of Mothra during the show’s upcoming third season.

Indeed, TV Land debuted a clip last night of Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine, who’ll play Lady Cora’s feisty mother Martha, landing the first blow in a war of words with her daughter’s delightfully acerbic mother-in-law. Did somebody just drop the word old? Uh-huh, she went there!

The clip aired as part of the American Film Institute’s 40th Life Achievement Award ceremony honoring MacLaine. (Check out a higher-quality version, but one that’s missing Maggie Smith’s retort, here.)

Downton Abbey is expected to return to the PBS lineup in early 2013.

Has this clip got you more excited for Season 3 of Downton Abbey? Does MacLaine’s Martha strike you as a worthy foe for the Dowager Countess? Sound off in the comments!

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