New Season of Downton Abbey to Begin Sunday, January 5

Dec 28, 2013

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 27, 2013

Credit Courtesy of ©Carnival Film and Television Limited 2013 for MASTERPIECE


Ellen Docksor, WGBH Boston, (617) 300-5338,

Olivia Wong, WGBH Boston, (617) 300-5349,

Monica Tichenor, WSIU, (618) 453-6160,

New Season of Downton Abbey to Begin Sunday, January 5

Carbondale, Ill. – The most-watched drama in PBS history enters its fourth gripping season with the whole world waiting to learn how the Crawley family of Downton Abbey and their staff deal with last season's shocking tragedies. The legend continues on Season 4 of Masterpiece Classic's Downton Abbey over eight Sundays beginning with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, January 5 at 8pm on WSIU-TV 8.1/WUSI-TV 16.1, the public television stations of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Written and created by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, Season 4 is a Carnival/Masterpiece Co-Production. Carnival is a division of NBC Universal International Television Production. The series' many accolades include nine Emmys®, two Golden Globes®, and a coveted Screen Actors Guild Award® for the ensemble cast.

All who tuned in last season know that Matthew Crawley – heir to Downton Abbey, husband to Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), and brand new father to a baby boy and successor – lies dead on a country road next to his overturned roadster. On top of this, the family is still grieving over the death in childbirth of Sybil, Mary's youngest sister, who also left a baby behind. Season 4 opens six months later and finds the family and the downstairs staff beginning to emerge from their long period of mourning.

Among the new faces joining the series are Paul Giamatti as Cora's playboy brother, Harold, who appears in the season finalé; Dame Harriet Walter as Violet's old friend Lady Shackleton; Gary Carr as jazz singer Jack Ross; Joanna David as the Duchess of Yeovil; Tom Cullen as the dashing Lord Gillingham, and Julian Ovenden as an unexpected houseguest.

Downton Abbey, Season 4 is sponsored on WSIU Public Television by Vic Koenig Chevrolet of Carbondale and Southeast Health.

Learn more about the series and watch a preview online at or visit the series website at

About WSIU

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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