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Monday, August 5, 2013


(Shirley MacLaine plays Lady Cora's brash outspoken American mother)

BBC Entertainment has revealed that the third series of the much-loved and critically-acclaimed British period drama television series, Downton Abbey, will start airing on South African screens on August 11 at 21h00.

The first two series proved to be runaway successes and commanded a large and loyal following in South Africa. To give fans a chance to re-live the drama of the first two series, all episodes will be aired over the weekend of August 10 and 11 before the opening episode of Series 3 premieres.

The third instalment from the pen of award-winning writer Julian Fellowes will witness the return of the show’s much-loved stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern. Joining the show will be legendary Hollywood leading lady; Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe award winner Shirley MacLaine. She will play the role of Martha Levinson, Cora’s brash, outspoken American mother who will visit Downton amidst great fanfare.

Ian McDonough, Executive VP, CEMA says “Downton Abbey Series Three completes a brilliant schedule on BBC Entertainment SA. Running the full first and second series to create a special Downton Weekend, culminating in the launch of Series Three means fans can get a major fix of a great British drama series. We’re used to delivering the Best of British – this fits that part of our brief perfectly, and complements our shows like Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing and original Commission Come Dine With Me South Africa series 3.”

The series, set in the Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era — with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

As they face new challenges, the Crawley family and the servants who work for them remain inseparably interlinked. Throughout the great house, new arrivals rattle the established hierarchies, and the lives of the inhabitants are as shaped by romance, ambition, desire, shocks and heartbreak.

Downton Abbey has received critical acclaim from television critics and won numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Mini Series or Television Film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini Series. It has earned the most nominations of any international television series in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, with 27 in total (after two seasons) and entered the Guinness Book of World Records as Highest Critical Review Ratings for a TV Show.