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A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th Century.

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Top Rated TV #104 | Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 52 wins & 209 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Lady Edith Crawley (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Charles Carson (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 John Bates (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Lady Mary Crawley (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Anna Bates / ... (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Thomas Barrow (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Mrs. Hughes (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Daisy Mason / ... (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Mrs. Patmore (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Isobel Crawley (52 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Joseph Molesley (46 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Tom Branson (45 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Dr. Clarkson (34 episodes, 2010-2015)
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 Sarah O'Brien (25 episodes, 2010-2012)
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 Matthew Crawley (25 episodes, 2010-2012)
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 Baxter (23 episodes, 2013-2015)
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 Lady Rose MacClare (21 episodes, 2012-2015)
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Storyline

Lord Grantham sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship's domineering, conservative mother, the dowager countess. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwhile, the butler presides over a staff which serves the family, but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants' quarters, intriguing amongst themselves. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

War changes everything

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Masterpiece Classic  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Queen Elizabeth is among Royal fans of the show. She has spotted errors in various episodes, according to the Daily Telegraph. She noted a WWI soldier was wearing medals awarded in WWII. The Queen also has been a guest at Highclere Castle. See more »

Goofs

Although Robert and Cora Crawley both have blue eyes, their daughters Mary and Edith have brown eyes. This was thought biologically impossible in the Davenport Model (1907), although not very common, two blue-eyed parents can produce children with brown eyes. Eye color is a complex trait that depends on the state of several interacting genes. The gene that usually decides the issue (blue eyes or brown eyes) is the OCA2 gene on chromosome 15. But it comes in different strengths. A person with a weak form of the OCA2 gene will have blue eyes. Likewise a person with a strong form will have brown eyes, but individuals also have other eye-color genes that each has a say in the final eye-color outcome. For example, if one of these lesser genes is strong, it can make the weak form (blue) of OCA2 work much more effectively - almost like the strong form (brown). Then the eye color may be brown. In fact, the resulting color can be any shade of brown, hazel, green or blue depending on the interactions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: I Ain't No Holodeck Boy (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

O Mio Babbino Caro
(uncredited)
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Kiri Te Kanawa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, stylish, clever entertainment with witty script...
11 December 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

DOWNTON ABBEY is the kind of "Masterpiece Theatre" material that the British do with such finesse that one can only sit back and marvel at the sets, costumes, music, and above all, the performances that are all on an extraordinarily high level.

The moment the first series ended, I wanted to see more--so no doubt I'll be ordering my copy of Season 2. Central among the gifted performers are Maggie Smith (as the Dowager Countess Violet), Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham, and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, his American wife. But all of the lesser roles are played to perfection with special mention for Brendan Coyle as John Bates, Joanne Froggatt as Ana, Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael.

Complicit in schemes involving wicked behavior are two of the downstairs help played brilliantly by Siobhan Finneran and Rob-James Collier as Thomas, both of whom cast a shadow over the household.

The plot has dialog that is always witty and good for a quick chuckle or a gasp of disapproval and the character motivations are all played out in a convincing manner true to each person involved.

Very compelling to view the fluid story unfold with its many sub-plots and shadings of the class warfare that existed in the U.K. then and now.

Absolutely one of the most rewarding and richly satisfying shows from Great Britain that have come along in recent years. The color photography amid location settings create the proper atmosphere for the entire story which takes place just before WWI among a wealthy titled household undergoing some major changes inside the castle walls.


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