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4th season of 'Downton Abbey' will air in January

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:53 am

NEW YORK — PBS says the fourth season of "Downton Abbey" will begin in January and run for eight weeks.

The series is the highest-rated drama in public TV's history.

The costume drama about the family and servants in a stately English home stars Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery.

Shirley MacLaine will return for the fourth season, joined by newcomers including opera star Kiri Te Kanawa. They'll have to fill the void left by leading man Dan Stevens' departure: His character, Matthew, died in a car crash in last February's third-season finale.

The new season of "Downton Abbey" will air from Jan. 5 to Feb. 23.