SPOILER ALERT: Twist awaits U.S. fans of 'Downton Abbey'
BY Associated Press
Thursday, December 27, 2012
NEW YORK — British fans of "Downton Abbey" are feeling blue after Tuesday's conclusion of Season 3, even as the U.S. audience eagerly anticipates this third cycle on PBS' "Masterpiece" beginning Jan. 6.
Note: Spoiler information follows the below photo:
In this image released by PBS, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess Grantham, is shown in a scene from the second season on "Downton Abbey." NICK BRIGGS/AP Photo/PBS, Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE
One of the stars of this wildly popular British costume drama is leaving the series after its third season. Dan Stevens had opted not to continue beyond his initial commitment, the British network ITV confirmed Wednesday.
His character, Matthew Crawley, has been written out with what ITV called an "untimely and tragic death" in the season finale. That episode will air in the U.S. in February.
Michelle Dockery will be returning in Season 4 as Matthew's soon-to-be widow, Lady Mary.