‘Downton Abbey’ Renewed for 4th Season by ITV

Eight new "Downton Abbey" episodes plus a Christmas special will begin filming in February

"Downton Abbey" fans have something to be thankful for.

British network ITV has commissioned a fourth season of the hit historical drama, the network said Friday. The new season will consist of eight new episodes to premiere in fall 2013, with an extended episode for Christmas 2013. As with previous seasons, the opening and closing episodes will be feature-length.

"Downton Abbey" Season 4 will begin filming in February at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios.

Noting that the upcoming season will see the inclusion of some new faces, "Downton Abbey" executive producer Gareth Neame said, "Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance.”

Also read: "Downton Abbey" Season 3 Trailer: Enter Shirley MacLaine (Video)

Produced by NBC Universal's Carnival Film & Television, the Emmy and Golden Glove-winning "Downton Abbey" airs on PBS in the U.S.