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The first pictures from 'Downton Abbey' series four have emerged online.
In the photos, taken on the set of the hit ITV period drama in Brampton, Oxfordshire, 'Downton's matriarch the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Dame Maggie Smith) can be seen visiting a graveyard.
She stands alongside Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton), near where the late Lady Sybil and Lady Mary's husband, Matthew Crawley, are buried.
The headstones of Jullian Fellowes' beloved characters, who both died in series three, feature in the pictures.
Jessica Brown Findlay recently told The Huffington Post UK she wasn't ready for the outpouring of grief that greeted the demise of her character Lady Sybil, who died in childbirth.
"The day Sybil died I was flying out to film in New York," she tells HuffPostUK. "Normally when you land somewhere, you get a couple of messages, but I had an onslaught from people saying, 'you could have warned me. »
- The Huffington Post UK
The pictures feature Smith (Dowager Countess) and Wilton (Isobel Crawley) shooting scenes in a graveyard in Bampton, Oxfordshire.
Downton will return for an eight-part fourth series and a Christmas special in the autumn on ITV.
It will air in the Us on PBS in the New Year.
The popularity of »
Could Diddy possibly be Lady Mary's latest love interest? Sadly, no - but for a minute there he really had us going. When the hip-hop mogul and part-time actor announced to his 8.7 million Twitter followers Wednesday that he would be a series regular on the next season of Downton Abbey - his "favorite show" - it seemed ridiculous. But then again, producers of the smash-hit PBS series recently announced that they are trying to diversify, and Diddy has done serious roles, including that of the son, Walter Lee Younger, in the 2004 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun. So, »
- Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Warning: The video above does contain some explicit language.It's Diddy like you've never seen him before: Hitting on the Dowager Countess! "My Big News: So happy to announce that Im a series regular on Downton Abbey-my favorite show," he posted on his Twitter page yesterday -- prompting speculation he would actually appear on the hit PBS show.While the network was quick to shoot down the rumors, the rapper had a surprise up his sleeve: A hilarious Funny or Die video called "Downton Diddy."While "Abbey" did recently cast the show's first black character, Diddy's "Lord Wolcott" unfortunately is not him. Check out the video above to see how seamlessly he's added to scenes with Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Rob James-Collier ... who he takes a particular liking to! Read more »
- tooFab Staff
It still amazes me how big Downton Abbey has become. The fact that it was even included in Iron Man 3 was surprising and funny. I didn't jump on board the bandwagon until right before season 3 was released. I was surprised by how addictive the show is. It's just a beautiful setting with great characters. Anyway, PBS has announced that season 4 will premiere on January 5th and run through February 23rd.
Shirley MacLaine is reprising her role as Martha Levinson, Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) mother, and there are going to be some new faces in the cast. That includes Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, a Crawley family friend whose history with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) goes back to childhood; Nigel Harman as a visiting valet named Green; and Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, a friend of the Dowager (Maggie Smith).
I'm curious how many of our readers watch Downton Abbey. »
- Joey Paur
Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" has a premiere date!
The series is set to return to PBS on Sun., January 5, 2014. Season 4 will run for eight weeks, concluding on February 23, 2014.
The upcoming season will see the return of series regulars Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and more. They will be joined by guest stars Shirley MacLaine, Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Gary Carr.
A couple of familiar faces will be missing from the "Downton" cast, however, including Dan Stevens, who played Lady Mary's (McGovern) husband Matthew Crawley.
The actor left the series behind last year to pursue other opportunities.
“We were always optioned for three years,” Stevens told The Telegraph in December. “And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, »
- Leigh Weingus
The news from PBS is in: The the most talked about shows on television has an official premiere date: Downton Abbey Season 4 will begin on Masterpiece on PBS on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton announced the U.S. airdates today at the PBS Annual Meeting. The hightest-rated drama in PBS history, Downton Abbey Season 4 will run for eight weeks, from January 5 to February 23, 2014. Casting news for season 4 includes the return of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson and several new actors, including Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Gary Carr. They will join Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle »
- April Neale
Downton Abbey, PBS' most-watched series, returns for a fourth season Jan. 5 through Feb. 23 in the U.S., PBS announced Tuesday As previously reported, Shirley MacLaine will reprise her role as Martha Levinson, Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) mother, and there will also be some new faces in the cast. Among them: Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, a Crawley family friend whose history with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) goes back to childhood; Nigel Harman as a visiting valet named Green; and Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, a friend of the Dowager (Maggie Smith). Per previous seasons, the fourth edition will begin airing
- Erin Carlson
The fourth season of PBS Masterpiece’s “Downton Abbey” will premiere in the U.S. on Jan. 5 and run for eight weeks.
A January premiere Stateside for “Downton” is typical for the cross-the-pond hit, but has become increasingly controversial because of spoilers coming over from the U.K., where each season launches the previous fall. The season-four premiere of “Downton Abbey” in Blighty is scheduled for September.
Interestingly, the season-four finale on PBS will come Feb. 23, the same night as the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics on NBC — a night that most broadcasters are shying away from in terms of scheduling. This year, the “Downton” season finale was the top-rated show on television in its timeslot, »
- Jon Weisman
Jinkx Monsoon is a kooky, wicked drag queen who won the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race last week. He towered above his competitors with strange one-liners, ruled “Snatch Game” with a dead-on performance as Grey Gardens’ Little Edie Beale, and showed an outrageous commitment to bizarre onstage characterizations. Now that she’s taken the crown, what next? Find out below as we quiz Monsoon, a.k.a. 25-year-old Jerick Hoffer, about Roxxxy Andrews‘ inane comments, being one of the maturer queens in the competition, and a love for Anna Nicole Smith.
The Backlot: You were billed as something of a niche queen, but Drag Race fans overwhelmingly loved you. Did that surprise you?
Jinkx Monsoon: It was very, very surprising to me, actually. You know, drag has evolved so much from its origins. You can date drag back probably however far back you want; men used to perform as women in Shakespeare, »
- Louis Virtel
If rightwing writer Melanie Phillips can launch her own line of branded goods, maybe those of a leftish bent should do so too
✒ When I saw that my old chum Melanie Phillips – once a Guardian lefty, now a rightwing columnist on the Daily Mail – was bringing out her own brand of merchandise, I assumed it was a joke. I was wrong.
You can now buy tote bags, T-shirts, Kindle and iPhone covers, and baseball caps with Melanie's company logo. I bet da kidz will buy zillions. What could be cooler than chilling with your homies, decked out in Melanie branded goods?
Two thoughts occurred to me. First, we Guardian columnists ought to have a line of collectibles fit for soggy liberals. A poncho to stop us being dripping wet, reversible so we can have it both ways. A cap marked "I ❤ all forms of diversity". Gloves, the left embroidered "On »
- Simon Hoggart
Everyone is watching Game of Thrones. But are you watching Funny or Die’s recap series “Gay of Thrones”? Because it is fabulous. This week was a react to Sunday’s “The Climb,” here retold to feature mostly DSLs, and little baby Kristen Stewart’s boyfriend. “Gay of Thrones” is very offensive but very spot-on. Hey, Maggie Smith! This season of the HBO show is, like, dense with characters, chaos, and exposition. (It only gets chaos-ier.) The only way to keep track is with a recap that ignores anything that isn’t naked, bleeding, or literally on fire. Go watch it, »
- Adam Carlson
The 71-year-old Georgia native has had more than 30 film roles and appeared in close to two dozen TV shows, which makes her a perfect subject for "Isn't That ... ?," a new HuffPost feature highlighting those character actors you recognize from a variety of projects, but don't know much else about.
The five-time Tony-nominated Ivey will appear in one of the final episodes of "The Big C" as a fellow cancer patient of Cathy's (Laura Linney). "I was thrilled to be asked to be on it," Ivey said in a phone interview with HuffPost. "It's such a good show. I've been watching it since the beginning and DVRing it and watching every episode. I just love it. I »
- Chris Harnick
Raquel Welch wigs vs. Ray Harryhausen monsters: One Million Years B.C. [See previous post: "Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Dies."] Without Charles H. Schneer as producer, Ray Harryhausen created the visual effects for the 1966 camp classic One Million Years B.C. — though, admittedly, his work in that movie played second fiddle to Raquel Welch’s physical effects as a blonde-bewigged (?) cavewoman parading around Earth’s pre-history in a cleavage-enhancing fur bikini. Whereas in producer Hal Roach’s 1940 effort One Million B.C., lizards made up as dinosaurs made life difficult for Victor Mature and Carole Landis, in the creationist-style pre-history of the 1966 (sort-of) remake, Raquel Welch and fellow caveman John Richardson had to square off against Harryhausen’s stop-motion models of giant reptiles. (Photo: Raquel Welch One Million Years B.C.) [Please scroll down to check out TCM's beautiful Ray Harryhausen tribute.] Starring James Franciscus and featuring Earth vs. the Flying Saucers‘ Richard Carlson, The Valley of Gwangi (1969) was Harryhausen’s next-to-last mid-level effort. Both The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), with John Phillip Law, »
- Andre Soares
• Martin Scorsese has found a new leading man in Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) for his feature Silence, based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 Japanese-language novel. The fictional story follows a 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionary to Japan. Ken Watanabe (Inception) also stars in the film, which will be largely shot in Japanese. At one point, Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were going to star in the film. [Variety]
- Lindsey Bahr
Here's today's casting news: Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) and Kevin Kline (Dave) are set to star in My Old Lady, directorial debut of playwright and screenwriter Israel Horovitz. Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is in talks to join Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea. Lance Reddick (Fringe) has been cast in his first comedic lead for debut director Scot Armstrong's Search Party. Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement. Variety reports that Smith and Kline are set to star in My Old Lady, an adaptation of Horovitz's play. The Paris-based drama, also starring Jane Birkin and Dominique Pinon, centers on Mathias (Kline), "a down-and-out New Yorker, who travels to Paris to liquidate a huge, valuable apartment he has inherited from his estranged father. In Paris, Mathias discovers a refined old lady Mathilde (Smith), living in the apartment with her daughter »
- Dave Trumbore
In 1933, the 13-year-old Ray Harryhausen saw King Kong at the cinema and was hooked – not only by Kong, who was clearly not just a man in a gorilla suit, but also by the dinosaurs. He came out of the theatre "stunned and haunted. They looked absolutely lifelike … I wanted to know how it was done." It was done by using stop-motion animation: jointed models filmed one frame at a time to simulate movement. Harryhausen, who has died aged 92, was to become the prime exponent of the technique and its combination with live action. He created the special effects for fantasy films such as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958); Jason and the Argonauts (1963), with its famous army of skeletons; and Clash of the Titans (1981).
He was born in Los Angeles to Frederick and Martha Harryhausen, »
- Sheila Whitaker
London — When Ray Harryhausen was 13, he was so overwhelmed by "King Kong" that he vowed he would create otherworldly creatures on film. He fulfilled his desire as an adult, thrilling audiences with skeletons in a sword fight, a gigantic octopus destroying the Golden Gate Bridge, and a six-armed dancing goddess.
On Tuesday, Harryhausen died at London's Hammersmith Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for about a week. He was 92.
Biographer and longtime friend Tony Dalton confirmed the special-effects titan's death, saying it was too soon to tell the exact cause. He described Harryhausen's passing as "very gentle and very quiet."
"Ray did so much and influenced so many people," Dalton said. He recalled his friend's "wonderfully funny, brilliant sense of humor" and love of Laurel and Hardy, adding that, "His creatures were extraordinary, and his imagination was boundless."
Though little known by the general public, Harryhausen made 17 movies that »
Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith will star in the Paris-set dramedy "My Old Lady," the feature directorial debut of Israel Horovitz, who adapted the film from his play. Protagonist Pictures will take the film to international buyers at Cannes next week. In "My Old Lady," French-speaker Kevin Kline (last seen in "Darling Companion" and heard as a voice on Fox's animated series "Bob's Burgers") will play Mathias, a New Yorker who goes to Paris to deal with his estranged father's assets. But he finds old lady Mathilde (Maggie Smith of "Downton Abbey") living in dad's apartment with her daughter (Jane Birkin) and learns he must wait until she dies to gain possession of the apartment. Horovitz's screenwriting credits include Istvan Szabo's "Sunshine" (1999), which won a European Film Award for best screenplay, and "The Strawberry Statement," winner of the 1970 Jury Prize at Cannes. Principal photography for "My Old Lady" begins in Paris on September 9th. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Maggie Smith and Kevin Kline are set to star in Protagonist Pictures' dramatic comedy "My Old Lady" which marks the directorial debut of prolific playwright and screenwriter Israel Horovitz ("Author! Author!").
Horovitz also wrote the play that inspired the film. Kline plays a down-and-out New Yorker who travels to Paris to liquidate a valuable apartment he inherited from his estranged father.
Once he arrives, he discovers a refined old lady (Smith) living in the apartment with her daughter (Jane Birkin). His plans are thwarted when he discovers that due to French law, he will not actually get possession of the apartment until the woman dies.
Source: The Wrap »
- Garth Franklin
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