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'Downton Abbey' Creator Isn't Sure of Show's Future Beyond Season 5

January 6, 2014 (2:04 am) GMT
Julian Fellowes hints that the upcoming fifth season of the British period drama could be the last for the show since he has been appointed to work on a new U.S. drama series.

"" may not last beyond season 5. Hinting at the show's impending end was none other than series creator Julian Fellowes, who recently told The Wall Street Journal that he still didn't know if the hit drama series would be renewed for a sixth season or not.

"Yes," he responded when asked if there would be a fifth season for "Downton Abbey". He quickly added, "I don't know yet if there is a season 6, but it's not going to go on forever. It won't be 'Perry Mason'."

The hit period drama series may not last beyond its upcoming season 5 as Fellowes has been locked to work on a new U.S. drama series, "The Gilded Age". "It's for NBCUniversal and it will happen when 'Downton' finishes because I just couldn't do both at once," he explained.

Dishing on his new project, he shared, "I haven't written it yet, but it's about the old aristocracy, the Winthrops and the Stuyvesants and the new money of oil and gas and shipping in the 1870s. It will all be fiction-it won't be real people-but when those families descended on New York, they took over."

"Although I am sure any Winthrop probably feels superior to a Vanderbilt or an Astor, nevertheless there is a certain element of realpolitik to this and the fact is that they delivered a certain type of American Renaissance, and became princes with their palaces on Fifth Avenue. That more puritan Edith Wharton modest aristocracy of the 18th Century in America was displaced by these princes and robber barons."

"Downton Abbey" season 4 premieres January 5 on PBS in the U.S. and the fifth season is expected to air in 2015.

Imagining what the Crawleys' descendants would be up to if they were a real family living today, Fellowes said they would be running the Downton Abbey estate but in a "businesslike" manner. "My own belief is that they would survive, but they would be living in a back wing-and you could buy a ticket to visit and they would only come out in the winter," he added.

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