Why Is Downtown Abbey Ending?

On 27 March 2015

Why Is Downtown Abbey Ending?

The servants’ bells at “Downton Abbey” will soon ring for their last time. Downtown Abbey producers have confirmed rumors: the show's upcoming sixth season will be its last. But why?

"There's so many different explanations," executive producer Gareth Neame said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "I think our theory is that it's good to quit while you're ahead. We feel the show is in incredibly strong shape. The scripts that we're working on for the upcoming season are fantastic. The show is so popular globally, but the danger with this sort of thing is to let them go on forever. The danger is that you run to seven, eight, nine, 10 years. ... But I think it's more important to us to make a perfectly formed show, in our opinion, that we bring to an end when we think the timing is right, and that people will love and remember that show for many, many years to come, and not feel that there was any sort of drop-off or we outstayed our welcome."

“Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and 'Downton' is no exception," Carnival’s Managing Director and Executive Producer of "Downton Abbey," Gareth Neame, said. "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...”

Show creator Julian Fellowes echoed the sentiment. "The 'Downton' journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea. 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. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience.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."

Asked if the “Downton” finale would bring closure for its many characters, Mr. Fellowes responded with a noncommittal “Eeeehhhh.” With a laugh he added: “I think it will be a quite satisfactory ending, in the sense that things will be resolved, either one way or the other. Not that everyone will be happy, but at least a decision will have been made.”

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