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'Downton Abbey' Christmas Special Spoilers Cause Twittersphere Uproar, Ruining Season 3 for American Audience

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 26, 2012 at 1:55PM

"Downton Abbey" fans, you might want to block your ears and eyes. The UK regularly enjoys their native period drama before us Yankees, so spoilers are to be expected for those following "Abbey" chatter.
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Downton Abbey

"Downton Abbey" fans, you might want to block your ears and eyes. The UK regularly enjoys their native period drama before us Yankees, so spoilers are to be expected for those following "Abbey" chatter. Season Three launches in the U.S. on PBS January 6. Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley on the hit Brit show, will not be returning for season 4, as confirmed in the Christmas special. (Links below offer the specifics, should you want them.) Season Three is already available for pre-order on Amazon UK (available January 29, 2013).

Stevens tells the Telegraph that leaving the show was a tough decision but that he wanted "a chance to do other things.” He goes on the describe his love for the show, and the difficulty in shooting his final episodes. The show has changed his life.

“I don’t think any of us, with the possible exception of Maggie [Smith], have had this kind of explosion in our career paths, and may never again. It has been so bizarre, and only those who have been through it can understand it," he notes. He is currently on Broadway starring opposite Jessica Chastain in "The Heiress."

Good luck to Stevens, but what a waste of a season for the millions of us stateside who were looking forward to season 3. There's really no excuse for such a time gap in this global, socially connected world.

THR Season 3 review: "America’s love affair with Downton Abbey is quite a wonder on many levels, and maybe one of the most intriguing is that despite a steep quality drop in season two, viewers remained ironclad loyal. Anyone who -- on blind faith -- ignored the serious plotting flaws and dramatic twists will be rewarded by what is shaping up to be a fine comeback in season three."

Telegraph Christmas Special review

RadioTimes Christmas Special review

[TVline / The Wrap]

This article is related to: Downton Abbey, Television, TV, News, Twitter


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.