Downton Abbey set to return in September AUG 05 2011
...but only in the UK (or to those elsewhere in the world who can use a BitTorrent client). The season will include eight episodes as well as a two-hour Christmas episode.
The first episode will open not with a witty but icy quip from the peerless Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith, but with the massive explosion of a shell in the battle of the Somme, where the heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens), is fighting. The drama's producers hope that the darker wartime storylines, and the aristocratic ensemble dressing down in the "we're all in it together" clothing of wartime, will not deter the fans.