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[10/10/13 - 10:05 AM]
"Return to Downton Abbey" Premieres Sunday, December 1, 2013, at 9:00 PM on PBS
Susan Sarandon hosts the special, a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members, and video clips of favorite moments.

[via press release from PBS]

"RETURN TO DOWNTON ABBEY" Premieres Sunday, December 1, 2013, at 9:00 PM on PBS

- Join Host Susan Sarandon for Favorite Moments from Past Seasons and a Sneak Peek at Season Four -

ARLINGTON, VA; October 10, 2013 -- A welcome treat for millions of viewers eagerly awaiting the debut of the new season of "Downton Abbey" on MASTERPIECE on PBS on January 5, 2014, RETURN TO DOWNTON ABBEY savors fond memories from the past three seasons and offers a tantalizing taste of Season 4 from the series The New York Times called "an instant classic." Hosted by Academy Award(R)-winning actress Susan Sarandon - a devoted fan of the series who especially admires the writing of fellow Oscar(R)-winner Julian Fellowes - the program includes a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members, and video clips of favorite moments. RETURN TO DOWNTON ABBEY premieres Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

"We invite viewers to dive back into the Roaring Twenties as excitement for the new season continues to grow," said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. "This special shines a light on the most compelling aspects of 'Downton Abbey' and previews the intriguing things to come."

"Downton Abbey" has captivated viewers worldwide, each season building on the love affair with the series that began three years ago. Over the years audiences have witnessed the Crawley family gripped by wrenching social change, romantic intrigues and personal crises. Last season saw the family experience great joy and profound sadness, leaving viewers to ponder these and other questions:

· How will Lady Mary cope now that Matthew is gone? Will she find love again?

· How will cousin Rose affect the social order at the majestic English country estate?

· What's in store for Anna and Bates?

· How does Branson adjust to his new role as agent of the estate?

Structured around three themes, RETURN TO DOWNTON ABBEY explores "The Changing World of Downton Abbey," "The Women of Downton Abbey," and "Love and Other Relationships at Downton Abbey." Cast members interviewed include Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Shirley MacLaine, Sophie McShera and Laura Carmichael.

Interviews with creator and writer Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame provide an overview and context for the series and the upcoming season, which is sure to include more drama, rivalry, intrigue, jealousy, ambition and romance. Also interviewed is Rebecca Eaton, MASTERPIECE executive producer, who comments on the phenomenal success of "Downton Abbey" in America.

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.

RETURN TO DOWNTON ABBEY:

Underwriters: Public Television Viewers and PBS

Producer: Inky Dinky Worldwide, CT LLC

Producer and Director: Bob Marty

Format: CC Stereo HD

About PBS

PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and nearly 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices.





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