20 February 2013 8:18 AM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Spoiler Alert (if you have yet to watch Sunday’s Downton Abbey finale)… Sunday’s conclusion of the third season of Downton Abbey capped off what’s been a tough year for the Crawley family. Story-wise, that is. The hit period drama killed off some key characters this season — one midway through and one in the last seconds of the last episode — and kept the audience hooked for record ratings. But what if co-creator Julian Fellowes, the man who writes every episode, were to leave? The idea was floated by Fellowes himself in an interview with The New York Times this week. Fellowes recently signed on to write and produce NBC period drama The Gilded Age. The project, which has a script commitment with significant penalty attached, is a sweeping epic set in 1880s New York. Fellowes told the paper that if NBC picks up the show, he’ll be writing it when Downton “finishes. »

- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor

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