Carnival Films and ITV announce Season 6 to be the final Downton Abbey
Carnival Films, the producer of Downton Abbey and ITV today announce that Season 6 will be the final season of the worldwide hit TV drama.
Carnival's Managing Director and Executive Producer of Downton Abbey, Gareth Neame said,
"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. 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... "
Julian Fellowes, writer, creator and Executive Producer of Downton Abbey, one of the UK's biggest ever drama exports said,
"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."
Downton Abbey is the highest rating UK drama of the past decade across any channel, with an average of 11 million viewers over the course of the five series, including Christmas specials.
ITV's Director of Television, Peter Fincham said,
"When Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame brought us the idea for Downton Abbey six years ago we thought it would be a great Sunday night series for ITV, but we had no way of knowing that it would become a global phenomenon playing to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. What a ride it's been - for everyone involved in the production, for the cast, and most of the all for the audience. We all thought very carefully about the right moment to bring something so special to a close that felt editorially right, and left viewers wanting more. Christmas Day on ITV this year will certainly be one to remember, as the concluding special brings a series to an end that started as a leap of faith for all of us, and ended surpassing all expectations."
The Golden Globe(R), Emmy(R), PGA, BAFTA, National Television Awards and Screen Actors Guild award-winning show, debuted on ITV in 2010 and has since become a global phenomenon. Downton Abbey is now in over 250 territories worldwide.
NBCUniversal International Television Production's President, Michael Edelstein said,
"Downton Abbey is nothing short of a global cultural phenomenon, whose compelling storylines and characters are beloved by millions around the world. Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame's sublime drama has secured its place as a beacon of British creativity that will live on for decades to come. At NBCUniversal, we continue to build on the success of Downton and on our reputation as the creative home for great television content that entertains global audiences."
The drama is the most nominated British show in Emmy(R) history with 51 nominations to date, collecting 11 wins including Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie, Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or a Movie and Outstanding Miniseries or a Movie. As well as its record-breaking Emmy(R) nominations, the show has so far amassed nearly 30 other major accolades around the world, including three Golden Globes(R), three Screen Actors Guild Awards of which two were for Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series, a Producers Guild of America Award, three BAFTA awards and three National Television Awards for Best Drama as voted for by the British public.
The series 5 transmission in the UK through Autumn 2014 reached new heights with over 60 million tweet impressions, a reach of almost 6 million on the top Facebook post and weekly trending across hashtags and conversation points, gaining a social media chart spot week on week. The UK series finale and the 2014 Christmas episode saw @DowntonAbbey trending in the top spot confirming the impact and influence of this global brand in the social TV space.
Season 5, which concluded on 1st March, was seen by 25.5 million people. The season had a weekly average audience of 12.9 million viewers over its nine-week run, an audience nearly even with that for Season 4 (13.3 million) (Source: Nielsen Live+7 data). "Downton Abbey, Season 5" had impressive online streaming numbers as well, with over 12.6 million streams of full episodes across all PBS and station digital platforms, 13 percent more streams compared to Season 4 (Source: Google Analytics, 1/5-3/15/15). A huge presence on social media, "Downton Abbey" set records for tweets of a PBS show, with Season 5 generating more than 190,000 total tweets and more than 24 million total impressions (Source: Nielsen, 1/4/15 to 3/1/15, live/new). During its nine-week run, "Downton Abbey" placed in Nielsen Social's Daily Top 5 for series and specials seven times (Source: Nielsen, 1/4/15 to 3/1/15).
Downton Abbey is a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE co-production.
Exclusive photography from the Downton Abbey Season 6 readthrough is available for Press use from the ITV Picture Desk.