Three weeks after airing Downton Abbey‘s Season 3 finale in the UK — and six weeks ahead of that cycle’s Stateside premiere on PBS — ITV has picked up the acclaimed drama for Season 4.
Though no formal announcement has been made yet by PBS, the broadcaster is expected to air the fourth season here in the U.S.
Touting the renewal, exec producer Gareth Neame said in a statement, “Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance.” ITV exec Laura Mackie added, “We’re thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe. [Series creator] Julian Fellowes and the production team, led by Gareth and the producer Liz Trubridge, never rest on their laurels and have exciting plans” for Season 4.
As noted above, Downton aired its Season 3 finale on ITV earlier this month, and will cap that run with the traditional Christmas special airing Dec. 25 across the pond. Production on Season 4′s eight new episodes/Christmas special will commence in February 2013.
Stateside, Downton Season 3 will premiere Jan. 6, 2013 on PBS. (Watch the trailer below.) In the interim, a Season 2 recap/Season 3 preview special, Downton Abbey Revisited, will air Nov. 25 on PBS.