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MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: Downton Abbey: Season 4

Season 4 airs Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 from 5:55 a.m. - 6:45 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The cast of DOWNTON ABBEY. Season 4 of the international hit DOWNTON ABBEY finds aristocrats and servants coping with last season’s shocking finale. The acclaimed ensemble is back, including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, and Laura Carmichael—together with returning guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine and new guest star Paul Giamatti.

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For those suffering from DOWNTON ABBEY withdrawal, missing their weekly dose of the joys and travails of the Crawley family and their servants, despair no longer. KPBS has scheduled a binge-worthy Labor Day weekend marathon of all six seasons of the top PBS drama of all time, the most popular series in MASTERPIECE’s 45-year history and one of the most-watched dramas on American television.

Kicking off on Friday evening, Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. and concluding on Monday, Sept. 5, this round-the-clock celebration features every enthralling moment of the unforgettable series. Plump the cushions, pour the sherry and settle back into the world of the witty Dowager Countess and her “frenemy” Isobel, the Crawley sisters and their below stairs counterparts, for all the romance, intrigue, heartbreak and happiness DOWNTON provides.

Courtesy of Forest Direct

Give $25 a month or $300 all at once and receive The Complete Limited Edition Collector's Set: featuring a hardcover book with 22-DVDs, 6 coasters and booklet: “The Costumes of Downton Abbey.” This gift includes a KPBS License Plate Frame (if you're a new member). Also enjoy access to KPBS Passport and myKPBS Film Club. There is a 21-Blu-Ray set or a 22-DVD set (both include 5 hours of all new bonus material) only available at the $144 level.


The most-watched drama in PBS history entered its fourth gripping season with the whole world waiting to learn how the beloved characters deal with a shocking tragedy. The acclaimed ensemble is back, together with returning guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine and new guest star Paul Giamatti. Also joining the cast are Harriet Walter, Gary Carr, Joanna David, and Tom Cullen, as the legend continues on DOWNTON ABBEY, Season 4. Written and created by Julian Fellowes. The series’ many accolades include nine Emmys®, two Golden Globes®, and a coveted Screen Actors Guild Award® for the ensemble cast.

Which Downton Abbey Job Is Right For you?

Find out in our exclusive quiz!

Which Downton Abbey Couple Are You?

Find out which iconic couple best reflects your relationship in this quiz.

The Locations

Explore MASTERPIECE'S most iconic filming locations, including DOWNTON ABBEY'S Highclere Castle.

Replete with weddings, births, abandonment, financial reversal, sudden riches, and equally sudden deaths, Season 3 left critics spellbound. USA Today ranked it as a perfect four stars out of four. The Hollywood Reporter called it “an absolute pleasure to watch.” And The New York Times praised it as “delightful escapism.”

Ahead of the celebrated final episode—the #1 show of the night, beating all broadcast and cable competition in prime time—Newsday had this summation: “The finale of a superb season does not disappoint. Grade A(+).” “We’d follow the Crawleys off a cliff,” echoed The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Please have Carson pack us a lunch.”

The returning cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Lily James, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Dame Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, and a host of others, joined by Shirley MacLaine (Oscar® for Best Actress, "Terms of Endearment"), who reprises her role as Martha Levinson, the forthright American mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (McGovern). Martha again battles wits with Cora’s wickedly acerbic mother-in-law, Violet (Smith).

Among the new faces are Paul Giamatti ("Sideways") as Cora’s playboy brother, Harold, who appears in the season finale; Dame Harriet Walter ("Little Dorrit") as Violet’s old friend Lady Shackleton; Gary Carr (DEATH IN PARADISE) as jazz singer Jack Ross; Joanna David ("Bleak House") as the Duchess of Yeovil; Tom Cullen (WORLD WITHOUT END) as the dashing Lord Gillingham, and Julian Ovenden (SMASH, "Any Human Heart") as an unexpected house guest.

All who tuned in last season know that Matthew Crawley—heir to Downton Abbey, husband to Lady Mary (Dockery), and brand new father to a baby boy and successor—lies dead on a country road next to his overturned roadster. On top of this, the family is still grieving over the death in childbirth of Sybil, Mary’s youngest sister, who also left a baby behind.


Episode 1 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 5:55 a.m. - Six months after Matthew’s death, family and servants try to cure Mary and Isobel of their deep depression. Meanwhile, O’Brien causes a final crisis.

Episode 2 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 8:20 a.m. - The fates of several characters converge at a glittering house party. Gregson impresses Robert, and Anna faces trouble.

Episode 3 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9:40 a.m. - Love is in the air at Downton Abbey and darker emotions too, as Mary, Edith, Tom, and Anna each struggle with a dilemma.

Episode 4 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. - Can Bates learn what is troubling Anna? Meanwhile, Thomas installs a new ally, and Alfred takes up cooking.

Episode 5 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 12:15 p.m. - Rose’s surprise party for Robert risks scandal. Mary meets an old suitor, and Edith gets troubling news.

Episode 6 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 1:30 p.m. - When Robert and Thomas make a sudden trip, everyone’s life gets more complicated. Mary and Blake come together over pigs. An unwelcome visitor appears.

Episode 7 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 2:50 p.m. - Robert and Thomas return from America. Bates disappears for a day. Edith prepares to go abroad. Suitors flock to Mary. And Rose makes her move.

Episode 8 repeats Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4:30 p.m. - Lady Rose meets the Prince of Wales and faces a dilemma. Trouble also plagues Cora’s mother and brother, Edith, and almost everyone else at Downton Abbey.

These episodes originally aired in 2013.


For extended access to DOWNTON ABBEY episodes, active your KPBS Passport account — video streaming for members ($60 yearly), using your computer, smartphone or tablet. We now offer Passport videos on ROKU!


The podcast will give an insider's view to DOWNTON ABBEY, one of the most popular shows presented on MASTERPIECE. These intimate conversations with the cast and creators of DOWNTON ABBEY explore their experiences and inspirations, and dissect the exciting twists and turns of these shows. These extensive interviews led to some surprising and personal stories that even the most ardent fans of the shows have never heard before.


MASTERPIECE is on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and you can follow @masterpiecepbs on Twitter. #DowntonPBS #MasterpiecePBS


Written and created by Julian Fellowes, DOWNTON ABBEY is a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE Co-Production. The series is executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes and Liz Trubridge. Nigel Marchant is co-executive producer. Rupert Ryle-Hodges is the producer. The first episode is directed by David Evans. Other episodes are directed by Catherine Morshead, Philip John, Edward Hall, and Jon East.

Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Funding for the series is provided by Viking Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future.

Downton Abbey, Season 4 Preview

A first look at scenes from Downton Abbey Season 4 on MASTERPIECE. (Downton Abbey Season 4 premieres Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS.)

Downton Abbey, Season 4: Behind the Scenes

Writer and creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame and actors Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) discuss what’s ahead for the inhabitants of Downton Abbey Season 4, premiering January 5, 2014, on PBS's MASTERPIECE.

Downton Abbey, Season 4: New Characters

Can't wait for Downton Abbey Season 4? The cast and creators of the series introduce you to some of the new arrivals -- a lord, a valet, an opera star and more! [Downton Abbey, Season 4 premieres Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS.]

Downton Abbey, Season 4: Characters' Most Defining Moments

Downton Abbey stars Michelle Dockery (Mary), Rob-James Collier (Thomas), Laura Carmichael (Edith), Joanne Froggatt (Anna) and Elizabeth McGovern (Cora) on the events that most shaped their characters.

Downton Abbey, Season 4: Choices

Joy, jealousy, tears and tea -- Welcome to Downton Abbey Season 4! Get a taste of what's in store for favorite characters in this montage preview. Downton Abbey Season 4 premieres Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS. [Music: "Wolf's Law" by The Joy Formidable.]

First Look: Downton Abbey, Season 5

Rejoin the Crawley family for a fifth season of intimately interlaced stories centered on the English country estate. Downton Abbey Season 5 premieres January 4, 2015, 9pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS. #DowntonPBS


Downton Abbey 5: New Characters

Who will be joining the Crawley family in this season of DOWNTON? The cast introduces new ladies, lords, and maids. DOWNTON ABBEY Season 5 premieres Sunday, Jan. 4th, 2015, 9pm on MASTERPIECE on PBS. #DowntonPBS

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