The creator of PBS’ popular “Downton Abbey” says the show may be coming to a close after the fifth season, but British bookmakers say the odds are on the show lasting much longer than that.
Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of the hit American/British TV series, hinted about the end of the show in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“Yes,” there will be a season five,” Fellowes said. “I don’t know yet if there is a season 6, but it’s not going to go on forever. It won’t be ‘Perry Mason.” Fellowes also warned that he intends to wrap up the series well before it gets anywhere near the World War II era.
Despite these hints by Fellowes, UK bookmaker William Hill is bullish. Hill gives odds on at 1/2 there will be a sixth series and odds of 6/4 that the fifth season will be the last.
“We think Downton has still got some petrol in its engine and cannot see the plug being pulled after the next series,” Hill’s spokesman Rupert Adams told the Daily Mail. Hill is also taking bets on how the series will end. Currently, the odds of the series ending with family patriarch Lord Grantham selling Downton Abbey stands at 7/4.
The show, which charts the trials and tribulations of an early 20th century British household, begins with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Over the course of four seasons, the series winds its way though such tribulations as World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.
In the interview, Fellowes also explained how making a television drama with such a large cast in the UK is much more difficult than if it were to be made in the US.
“[In America] you can get actors for five or seven years,” he explained. “For some shows you have to sign a thing saying you are prepared for that when you go for an audition, when you haven’t even got the part! We just don’t have that. No agent will give you an actor for longer than three years in England.”