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'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes Considering Adding Black Characters To Hit Series

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 5, 2012 at 11:39AM

This might be the very first time we've ever written anything about Downton Abbey on this website, and I'm sure you can figure out why.
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Downton Abbey

This might be the very first time we've ever written anything about Downton Abbey on this website, and I'm sure you can figure out why.

But we just may be talking about the hit British period soap opera created by Julian Fellowes (it's a hit with American audiences now as well, as we await the start of the new season here in the USA).

Why? Well... take a guess!

Here's an excerpt from an interview the director gave to the UK's Telegraph, posted on their website this morning:

It has already tackled weighty issues including the Great War, miscarriages of justice and homosexuality, but Downton Abbey could now turn its focus to race relations and multiculturalism. Julian Fellowes, the TV show’s creator, said that he would like to introduce black or Indian characters into the programme. When asked about criticism in some quarters that Downton Abbey, which concluded its third series on ITV last night, does not contain any black characters, the writer said it would be “rather nice to open it up ethnically a bit”.

Fellowes added that he thought it would be a good idea to do so, but he'd have to ensure that the representations are historically credible, and he was sure they could make it work.

However, the show, which ended its 3rd season/series in the UK over the weekend, still has to be renewed for a 4th, before Fellowes can begin thinking about writing in new black or Indian characters.

And as for whether that would happen, he said:

“I would hope [there will be more] because of the response to this series, but you know [ITV] are always pretty close to their chest in terms of an actual commission. But I think I’d be surprised if there was not a fourth series,” he said.

Season 3 on ITV ended with a ratings season-high - a seaon that the network said was the highest-rated of the show to-date.

However, USA fans will have to wait until January 2013 before they'll get to see season 3's episodes... minus any black characters though.

So, fans of Downton - thoughts on black characters being introduced??

This article is related to: Television, TV News


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