DOWNTON ABBEY Producer on the Show's End and a Potential Movie - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

DOWNTON ABBEY Producer on the Show’s End and a Potential Movie

August 2, 2015 by  

DOWNTON ABBEY is getting ready to say goodbye.

The ITV/PBS series will launch its final season on January 3, 2016 — just two days after the show is honored with a float at the Rose Parade.

And though fans may be lamenting the upcoming end of the series, the show has lasted longer than anyone planned.

“Well, I have to say it was actually rather than it been curtailed, it was extended,” DOWNTON ABBEY star Hugh Bonneville shared during the show’s Television Critics Association panel. “We were all expecting to finish after [season] 5. And it was [creator] Julian [Fellowes] who said to us that he felt…it would be a bit truncated trying to bring it into land over in that fifth series, and so he asked if we’d he wanted to do another nine episodes to make the stories all land in a more appropriate way.”

“I think we made a group decision,” executive producer Gareth Neame added. “I’m delighted that my friends at PBS didn’t want to cancel the show. And ITV in England, they didn’t want to cancel the show. Everyone’s been completely supportive of Julian and the producers and the cast who all felt that now was the right time. There’s no question we could have made a season 7 or 8. I’m sure they would have been fantastic, but it’s about leaving a little bit earlier than you might. And I think certainly true when we started on this. I mean, nobody goes into a TV show really expecting to still be there six years later. But I think if we had finished at five, as Hugh says, that would have been shortchanging a global audience. And perhaps if we tried to eke it out to season 8, we would have felt we’d start running out of ideas. So maybe we’re leaving a little bit earlier, but, I think, on a really high note. And I think it’s been true to the genesis of the project that the people involved in it have been it’s very much it actually is not about Julian saying to the cast when it’s going to end. It was all of us sort of feeling it as we went along.”

But with the show’s conclusion — which will take the story to 1925, just four years shy of the catastrophic 1929 Wall Street crash — there remains a lot of untapped story potential…though there is the possibility to continue on in another form.

“I think if we had gone to a season 7 or 8, then we probably would have taken it that much further,” Neame said. “But I guess there is this speculation about whether we’ll ever make a DOWNTON movie, and we might. It’s something that we’ve talked about, but there’s no firm plans about that at all. And it certainly means that we’ve got lots of rich territory that we could go into were that ever to happen. But, no, I mean, it’s a good point. I don’t know if I could bear to see Robert Grantham go through a financial [ruin, again].”

And, for what it’s worth, Neame would love to do a DOWNTON movie at some point.

“I mean, there’s no plan,” he clarified. “There’s rumor and speculation. I’m not denying anything, but there’s no firm plans. I think a DOWNTON movie could be a wonderful thing, but we don’t have a script or a plan or anything as yet.”

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