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'Downton Abbey': Bates begins Season 3 in prison, says Brendan Coyle

Brendan Coyle is the latest participant in PBS' "Downton Abbey" chat sessions (read about Hugh Bonneville here, Laura Carmichael here and Allen Leech here). We separately addressed our new favorite theory that Coyle might have let slip - that Sir Richard killed Vera Bates - but here are some other highlights from the chat with Mr. Bates.What can we expect to see with this character ... in Season 3?"He begins series three in prison...I can't say anymore...honestly." Any other Season 3 details?"There is a wedding...or two?...Shirley MacLaine is amongst us....the scripts are superb...stick with us."Are you excited to be working with [Shirley MacLaine]? "I had the privilege of sitting beside @maclaineshirley at lunch yesterday...this casting is ingenious...she is much loved here,her scenes are brilliant and I can assure you she will be a dazzling addition to Downton Abbey." [Bates] may be a man of few words, but his countenance speaks volumes. Do you think that's... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbey-bates-begins-season-3-in-prison-says-brendan-coyle.html

'Downton Abbey' cast: Season 3 is 'really, really good'

Digital Spy caught up with four stars of "Downton Abbey" at the ELLE Style Awards Monday (Feb. 13) - Allen Leech (Branson), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Sophie McShera (Daisy) and Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore). The interviewer exclaims about how fun it is to see the kitchen maids out and about as their real selves and Leech cracks, "They scrub up well, don't they?"When asked about Season 3, they reveal that they are just starting filming. Leech says he and Carmichael start Tuesday, Feb 14, while Nicol says she starts Friday, Feb. 17 and McShera starts Monday, Feb. 20. McShera then wonders why Mrs. Patmore would be filming a scene without her right hand woman Daisy and Nicol teases, "'Cause I've got something you're not in."And will they spill any details about the third season? No. But Leech says, "We had a read-through after the first five scripts and they're really, really good." We can hardly... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbey-cast-season-3-is-really-really-good.html

'Downton Abbey': The fashions, flair and fixings

"Downton Abbey" is enjoyable to watch because of the intriguing storylines and wonderful acting. But let us not forget how much of a feast for the eyes the show is, both in terms of setting and costumes.In the show's companion book, "The World of Downton Abbey," costume designer Susannah Buxton dishes the dirt on the all the chic ensembles seen on the show and the actors provide excellent anecdotes as well. The women particularly lament their corsets."There was one scene where I had a corset visible, so it was made for me," says Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary. "After we had filmed, we removed all the details - flowers and ribbons - to make it a plain corset and then I could that, as it was a perfect fit. I'm taller than most actresses, so most corsets tend to be too short in the body.""I know it doesn't look as if I've got a... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbey-the-fashions.html

'Downton Abbey's' Allen Leech on Season 3, his nickname for Maggie Smith and more

PBS Masterpiece has been hosting a series of chats with various "Downton Abbey" cast members in recent weeks. You can read the highlights from Hugh Bonneville's chat here and the highlights from the chat with Laura Carmichael here. But Monday, Feb. 13 the chat was with Allen Leech, who plays Branson. Leech is clearly very tech-savvy (his Twitter is always abuzz), so his chat was able to cram in a lot of questions during the hour timeframe. As such, we've included most of them here in Q&A format.Did you have any idea of how your character Branson would develop when you you joined the show"Not at all! i wasn't even option for any of the following series so it was a great surprise to be back for season 2."Did you get any background about Branson's life? Where he grew up? Religion? How he came to become political? "Julian Fellows and myself created some of the... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbeys-allen-leech-on-season-3-his-nickname-for-maggie-smith-and-more.html

'Downton Abbey' Season 2 finale preview: Bates on trial, Matthew vs. Sir Richard

Watch Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 7 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.The second season of "Downton Abbey" comes to a close this coming Sunday night (Feb. 19) - and then it doesn't return for almost a whole year! Boo hoo. But it goes out with a bang, as Christmas 1919 comes to Downton in the form of a 90-minute special.In the above preview, see that poor Mr. Bates is in prison and on trial for the murder of his wife. Yikes. It certainly doesn't look good for him, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence. Sir Richard Carlyle is still being eviiiil towards Mary, who wants to throw him over and marry Matthew - but will that happen for them? It was pretty satisfying to see Matthew punch Sir Richard, no doubt about that.Oh, and it looks like the servants get a oujia board. Huh."Downton Abbey's" Season 2 finale airs Sunday, Feb.... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbey-season-2-finale-preview-bates-on-trial-matthew-vs-sir-richard.html

'Downton Abbey's' Laura Carmichael on Shirley MacLaine, Lady Edith's first kiss and more

PBS has been hosting a series of online chats with the stars of "Downton Abbey." First Lord Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville, spoke with the fans. And Monday (Feb. 6), Laura Carmichael, the blossoming Lady Edith, took a turn behind the keyboard to talk about her experiences on the show."I was cast quite late on in the process. I had just landed a theatre role when the call came in," says Carmichael, of winning a part on the show. "I thought I'd have to turn down a great play to do/read a couple of lines. I was gobsmacked to find it was a principle character. It was a very exciting time.""Everyone was keen to put me at ease," she continues, as it was her first major acting role. "My first scene was with lovely Hugh (Lord G) and he was kind & really put me at ease."When asked if she prefers playing Season 1 Lady Edith... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbeys-laura-carmichael-on-shirley-maclaine-lady-ediths-first-kiss-and-more.html  

'Downton Abbey' preview: Branson and Sybil! Branson and Sybil!

Watch Downton Abbey Season 2: Episode 6 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece."Downton Abbey" has just about wrapped up its second season on PBS here in the States. What were episodes 7 and 8 in Britain are airing this coming Sunday, Feb. 12, as a two-hour penultimate episode. Check out the preview video above for what's in store for everyone's favorite aristocratic family.Bates thinks his wife Vera took arsenic in order to kill herself and cause trouble for him, while Lady Violet straight-up tells Matthew that Mary is still in love with him. And then - *GASP* - Branson and Sybil come clean to the family! Oh, that means she's admitted that she loves him. (We all know she does, but she hasn't really come right out and said it yet).But things take a turn for the worse when the Spanish flu hits Downton Abbey. Do you think we're going to lose anyone?... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbey-preview-branson-and-sybil-branson-and-sybil.html

'Downton Abbey's' Siobhan Finneran: O'Brien 'doesn't wish [Bates] as much harm as you first might think'

"Downton Abbey" has had a couple "villains" since the show's inception and one of them is the scheming, meddlesome Sarah O'Brien, played by Siobhan Finneran. She tells ET Online that she finds O'Brien very funny and actually really likes her character."I really, really like her so that helps a great amount and I find her very funny and a little bit naughty. I think when we first saw her, everyone assumed she would be Cruella De Vil or the Wicked Witch of the West -- but there's so much more going on beneath that," says Finneran."I think sometimes her severity and the way she is with the other people in the house, comes down to the fact that she's completely brilliant at her job and will never let anything take that away from her," she continues. "She doesn't like to be out of control and is more aware of everybody in the house more than... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbeys-siobhan-finneran-obrien-doesnt-wish-bates-as-much-harm-as-you-first-might-think.html

'Downton Abbey's' Hugh Bonneville on Season 3: 'Plenty of surprises in store'

PBS Masterpiece Classic has begun a series of chats with the stars of "Downton Abbey" and the first one was with none other than Lord Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville. He talks about his character arc in Season 2 and what we can look forward to in Season 3, touching first on the heartbreaking death of William on this past Sunday's episode."Well the death of William was heart-breaking for us too, particularly since it meant losing Thomas Howes, who plays him so touchingly," says Bonneville. "We have the readthru for S3 next Monday - yikes! - and start filming a week later. As for life beyond S3 - who knows?!"When asked about the appeal of "Downton" in a time when scandalous reality shows are all the rage, Bonneville writes, "I think elements like good story-telling, interesting characters, carefully constructed plots must have something to do with it. Reality shows have their place of course but nothing... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/01/downton-abbeys-hugh-bonneville-on-season-3-plenty-of-surprises-in-store.html

Downton Abbey Finale Preview: Love Among the Ruins

"It's good to remind people, love is love," says Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes . And more than 15 million viewers in the U.S. and U.K. are having a love affair with the palace-size hit, which has reinvigorated period drama and earned raves around the world (100 countries have acquired rights to air the show). Far from a sophomore slump, Season 2 of the sumptuous series about life among the British gentry and their servants during World War I has broadened the story's scope to take in the violence of the battlefields and the impact of the conflict on the residents both upstairs and down. //www.tvguide.com/News/Downton-Abbey-Finale-1042584.aspx?rss=breakingnews