Producers of the BBC and Masterpiece on PBS series “Downton Abbey” confirm that the upcoming season 6 of the show will be its last.
“Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years,” executive producer Gareth Neame said in a statement on Thursday.
“Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and ‘Downton’ is no exception,” Neame added. “We wanted to close the doors of ‘Downton Abbey’ when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.”
Maggie Smith, who portrays the Dowager Countess on the series, hinted earlier in March that the series may be coming to an end.
“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith said.
The series has consistently broken records for public television viewership. Nielsen L+7 data shows Season 5, which concluded March 1, had a weekly average of 12.9 million viewers, only slightly down from the 13.3 million average of the previous season.
“Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain,” “Downton Abbey” creator and executive producer Julian Fellowes said.
“I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment,” he added.
“Downton Abbey” is a Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production written and created by Julian Fellowes. The show is executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes, Liz Trubridge and Nigel Marchant, and Rebecca Eaton serves as EP for Masterpiece.