Maggie Smith May Not Renew Downton Abbey Contract
While nearly all of the goings on upstairs and goings on downstairs at Downton have their charm, not one character has more allure on Downton Abbey than Maggie Smith, who plays Dowager Countess of Grantham on the hit show, and whose acerbic wit keeps the pace of the show from ever falling into a boring pattern. Smith is as integral to Downton as household roles are important to maintaining social status. It would be difficult to consider the show without her.
We may have to, however. According to The Daily Mail, Smith has yet to sign on board for upcoming seasons of ITV’s hit show. This is not quite as dismal as it may seem at first glance. While Season 2 of Downton Abbey only recently wrapped up in the U.S. on PBS, the show has been gearing up for Season 3 overseas for a while now, with production in full swing. So, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Smith will be sticking around for next season, at least.
While producers are looking at a fourth and even a fifth cycle, Smith is not the only actor avoiding renewing a contract. Another big player who is currently holding out is Dan Stevens, who plays the heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley, on the show. More minor characters, like housekeeper O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran) and Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) have also reportedly not signed. With so many hold outs left to go, we can only hope Smith and the others are letting producers sweat for a bit more money or a bit more power. If not, we may see a very different lineup by Season 4.
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