Maggie Smith Leaving Downton Abbey

The Season 5 finale was more or less free of shocking moments, but just one day after the finale aired here in the U.S. we learned that next season will be Maggie Smith’s last as the Dowager Countess! She spilled the news during an interview with The New York Times.

It remains unclear whether Season 6 will be the last season for the Dowager or for the entire series. Season 6 will air on WPT in 2016, but beyond that, no one knows the long-term future of Downton Abbey.

We’ll speculate later. For now, take a look at some of the best Maggie Smith moments from Downton Abbey’s early seasons. We’re looking forward to many more great quips and double takes from the Dowager Countess next year in Season 6.

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Watch Season 5 Online for Free

Love happy endings? Then the Downton Abbey, Season 5 finale is one you’ll want to see again and again. Watch the season finale and all other episodes for free until March 15, right here at wpt.org.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 5 online until March 15.

Speaking of endings…
Season 6 will air on WPT in 2016, but beyond that, no one knows the long-term future of Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith lets us know one thing today — next season will be her last as the Dowager Countess! She spilled the news during an interview with The New York Times.

Image of Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess

Maggie Smith says Season 6 will be her last on Downton Abbey.

While we have to wait a full year for Season 6, there’s more drama to come on Masterpiece this month. On March 29, retail magnate Henry Gordon Selfridge rebounds in the all-new third season of “Mr. Selfridge.” And, on April 5, the highly anticipated “Wolf Hall,” starring Damian Lewis (Homeland), Mark Rylance and Claire Foy, begins a six-episode series that charts the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell from blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor.

Watch the trailers for “Mr. Selfridge” and “Wolf Hall” now, and see what’s yet to come on Masterpiece.

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Get a Sneak Peek of the Season Finale

The Season 5 Finale Cast  (click for larger image)

The Season 5 Finale Cast (click for larger image)

Don’t miss the Downton Abbey Season Finale Sunday, March 1 on WPT.

Read on for a recap of Season 5 and a clip from the final episode.

So far this season we’ve had a fire and a fist fight at Downton Abbey. We’ve seen at least three rudely behaved guests thrown out of the manor house. And, after growing tired of the inspector’s incessant calling upon Bates, we received a shock when he appeared once more to arrest Anna.

There’s been joy too. Edith reunited with Marigold, Lady Mary had her share of romantic endeavors and Rose settled down with Atticus.

Relive the major themes of Season 5 with this quick recap, featuring commentary from Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael and other cast members.

In the Season 5 finale, airing 8 p.m. Sunday, the Crawley family’s Christmas getaway in Northumberland proves rewarding for many. (No, it’s not Christmas again already. The finale originally aired on Christmas Day in the UK).

Enjoy a clip from the finale in which the new in-laws become better acquainted.

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Downton’s Costumes Coming to Wisconsin

We’ve been treated to a banquet of 1920s fashion each and every episode this season. This summer, Downton Abbey fans in Wisconsin can count on seeing some extraordinary styles up close when the exhibit Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times arrives at The Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh.

The Dressing Downton exhibit features 36 period costumes from the first four seasons and explores British fashion from 1912 through World War I and into the 1920s Jazz Age.  Start planning your trip now! The exhibit, which is currently at the Biltmore House in North Carolina, arrives June 20.

For now, get your fashion fix in pixel form. In a behind the scenes video, review the signature styles of Season 5 with Downton Abbey costume designer Anna Mary Scott Robbins. Then, view a slideshow of Season 5 fashions featuring additional commentary from Scott Robbins.

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary

Explore a slideshow of Downton fashion from Masterpiece.

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Remembering a Much-Loved Cast Member

Downton Abbey lost a seldom-seen but much-loved cast member this week. We could see it coming in Episode 6, and for some, news out of the UK spoiled the moment before Season 5 ever started.

Watch this touching video of cast members Hugh Bonneville, Robert James-Collier, and Lesley Nicol looking back on some of their favorite Isis moments.

And for a deeper analysis of the entire episode, watch the official Downton Abbey Episode 7 recap.

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