'Downton Abbey': Shirley MacLaine cast as Lady Cora's mother

The Granthams are in for some new faces at "Downton Abbey" for Season 3 and one of them is Academy Award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine, according to a press release. Star Elizabeth McGovern had previously told the U.K.'s Sun newspaper that Season 3 would see some of her American relatives coming to Downton and now we know that one of them is her mother, Martha Levinson, played by MacLaine."My late grandfather directed Shirley MacLaine in 'Gambit' in 1966 so it is a delight for me that she will be joining us on 'Downton Abbey,' says executive producer Gareth Neame, in a statement. "Julian has written another brilliant character in Martha Levinson, who will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her.""It is so exciting to have an actress of Shirley MacLaine's stature joining our brilliant 'Downton Abbey' cast for series three and a...

Downton Abbey Season 2, Episode 3: Can Bates and Anna Finally Live Happily Ever After?

Downton Abbey's (other) star-crossed lovers Bates and Anna have faced many obstacles in their relationship — most notably, the evil and scheming Mrs. Bates.But in Season 2, Episode 3, it finally seems like Bates is rid of his shrew of a wife. After leaving Downton's service, Bates secretly returns to the area to work at a pub ("Bates, working at a pub?!").Anna discovers his presence there, and upon confronting him at the pub, learns that Bates has sufficient dirt on his wife to force...

Golden Globes Video: Downton Abbey Creator Calls Show's Success Bewildering

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes says he's astounded at his series' success. "I can hardly believe the way this city — and I hope this country — has taken the series to its heart. It's been extraordinary and bewildering in a way," he said on the Golden Globes red carpet. Star Hugh Bonneville added: "It's got a big ensemble cast; if you get bored with one, another one's going to be on in a minute."

'Downton Abbey' preview: The Crawley sisters' double act

Watch Downton Abbey, Season 2: A Scene from Episode 3 on PBS. See more from Masterpiece."Downton Abbey" returns Sunday, Jan. 22 with the fourth episode of its second season. The Abbey is in full swing as a convalescent home and with it have come a plethora of challenges. At the forefront are Cousin Isobel and Lady Cora - "too many cooks" and so forth.Meanwhile, there are strange things afoot at the Crawley house in the village, which naturally O'Brien must stick her nose into. But we aren't telling what (and please, no spoilers in the comments if you know).Mr. Bates and Lord Grantham are able to patch things up, though things are hardly going to be smooth sailing for Mr. Bates just yet. And finally, some men at the front have gone missing.In the preview clip above, the family puts on a variety show of sorts for the men staying at the convalescent home....

'Downton Abbey' preview: Thomas is back and he may be in charge

Watch Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 2 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece."Downton Abbey" is the latest Masterpiece Classic program on PBS and we're so grateful it has come to this side of the pond. We've recently discovered it and are going to start covering it here at Zap2it, so keep checking back for recaps, news and interviews.In the above preview of the upcoming new episode, Downton is turned into a convalescent home, which is quite the upheaval for the Granthams. And O'Brien, at her meddlesome best, plants a bug in her Ladyship's ear about Thomas being in charge, seeing as how he's now an Army medic.In the video below, executive producer Gareth Neame talks about the incomparable Maggie Smith."Well, any scene with Maggie Smith is my favorite scene. They're just priceless ... she's one of the key voices in the show," says Neame. "He just writes these brilliant one-liners for her. She...

'Downton Abbey': What the Fuss Is All About -- and What You Need to Know

When "Downton Abbey" was announced as the winner of all those awards -- six, out of 11 nominations -- at last year's Emmy ceremony, most viewers were probably wondering a) what "Downton Abbey" was and b) if someone had left an extra "w" out of the title.

Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern on Season Two, Corsets, and What Cora Would Think of Her

She was nominated for an Oscar at 20 (for Ragtime ) and engaged to Sean Penn at 23, then Elizabeth McGovern disappeared from the public eye, moving to London to get married and raise two kids with British director and producer Simon Curtis. Now she's back on the small screen as Lady Cora in Julian Fellowes's Downton Abbey, playing — appropriately enough — an American married to a Brit, the Earl of Grantham . This Sunday's season two premiere picks up with the Downton estate, both upstairs and downstairs, preparing for World War I. We spoke to McGovern ahead of the episode about how the war will affect her marriage, corsets, and what Cora would think of the modern woman. Read More...

'Downton Abbey's' intrigue continues

It's 1916 and love and politics are afoot this season, upstairs and down. The many-chambered, highly peopled country house known as "Downton Abbey" opens again Sunday for visitors — that's you, I'm being metaphorical — returning for a second season under the umbrella of PBS series "Masterpiece Classic." It is classic not for being based on some famous old book — it is an original work for television, created by Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") — but because it is a period piece set in a world we associate with famous old books and, in a secondary way, with "Masterpiece Theater" itself, home of the similar, chronologically overlapping "Upstairs, Downstairs" and the primary domestic expression of the Anglo-American "special relationship," television branch, since 1971.,0,3672422.story

Downton Abbey Season 2 Promo: A Brave New World

Downton Abbey is about to embark on a brave new world, at least for American viewers of this British hit. So says Mr. Carson in the following preview for the drama, which premieres season two on BBC America this Sunday. The critically-acclaimed drama will fast forward two years upon its return, setting viewers down in World War I and letting us watch as characters from upstairs and downstairs are affected by the global event. Look for a new maid to also make an impression, while Matthew makes an announcement that shocks Mary. Get an idea of just what they will be via the following preview:

Catch a Sneak Peek at the Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Fresh off their Golden Globe nods , the Downton Abbey cast gives you a peek at their Christmas special, in which Maggie Smith allegedly gets a nutcracker. Awesome.