PBS phenomenon Downton Abbey has vowed to continue for a third season. Film critic Roger Ebert tweeted yesterday that Shirley MacLaine will join the Masterpiece program next year. CNBC News also confirmed this announcement. The Oscar-winning actress will play the mom of Lady Grantham, the character played by Elizabeth McGovern. MacLaine’s relationship with Maggie Smith’s character will also guarantee added fireworks to the high-brow program.
She will additionally generate considerable press for the mini-series. This is outstanding news for loyal viewers.
Writer Julian Fellowes is also preparing a screenplay for a Downton Abbey motion picture. How extraordinary for lovers of British drawing-room dramas in the tradition of Upstairs Downstairs, Gosford Park, The Remains of the Day, and Brideshead Revisited. Downton creators are prepared to capitalize on winning six Emmys and a Golden Globe over the past year.
The World of Downton Abbey, a book offering a fascinating behind-the-scenes look within the production of the mini-series, was released in September, 2011. Written by Jessica Fellowes (Julian’s niece), it was published by HarperCollins.
It’s gratifying to see Hollywood and history intersect in such a major way on television. The sinking of the Titanic, World War I (The Great War), and the 1918 flu pandemic have all been referenced. PBS can be proud of this educational accomplishment.
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