While Americans will have to wait until early 2014 to (legally) watch the new season of Downton Abbey, the season will be premiering in Britain in September.
The costume drama was heavy on the drama at the end of last season with the death of the heir to the estate, Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens), just after his wife, Lady Mary Crawley (played by Emmy nominee Michelle Dockery), gave birth to their child. Mary's younger sister Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) had died in childbirth leaving her husband Tom Branson (played by Allen Leech), also a single parent.
Brendan Coyle, actor who plays John Bates, valet to the lord of the manor, says it's the best season yet, and had some words of praise for actress Shirley MacLaine: "She had to adjust to the way we film over here. She was like, 'It's pissing down, and you're still filming?' But she adjusted to it beautifully. She's a great crack.
"She's great, and she's seen it all," Coyle continued. "There's no airs and graces or front. She's able to laugh off the things written about her. When she's asked about the things said about her and Maggie Smith, she says, 'Well we were lovers in a previous life'. She's canny."