Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is already writing series 4! Plus series 3 spoilers!

There’s great news for fans of hit ITV period drama Downton Abbey today in that its creator, Julian Fellowes, has revealed that he’s already writing a fourth series of the award winning and critically acclaimed show.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Fellowes – who of course also wrote mini-series Titanic – said, “I am sure there will be a fourth series, yes, although it hasn’t yet been confirmed officially.

“But it’s a definite yes in my heart and I would be writing it and I have a pretty good idea of what I would do with it too.”

During the interview, Fellowes also remarked that he would “do anything” to keep Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Downton, in the show.

He said, “Dame Maggie will be in this show for as long as she wants to be…

“And I can tell you that even if she doesn’t want to be, she won’t die, she’ll go to the seaside just in case she wants to come back.”

And when asked if US icon Shirley MacLaine would feature in the fourth series – she of course stars as Lady Cora’s mother Martha Levinson in the forthcoming series three – Fellowes said, “I think she’ll be back actually because she really enjoyed it.”

Apropos of series three, PBS recently showed a few clips of the new episodes, which revealed that there are set to be fireworks between Martha and Dame Maggie’s character, the Dowager Duchess.

Of the sneak peeks, Reading Eagle states…

The aristocratic Crawley family endures a financial crisis. And, despite the engagement of Matthew and Mary at the end of last season, all is not well – gasp! – with the pair played by Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery.

PBS showed brief clips from next season to the Television Critics Association recently before a panel discussion with cast members and producers of the international hit. They took a break from taping in London to meet reporters in Beverly Hills.

Their visit followed a strong showing by “Downton Abbey” in the Emmy nominations with 16 bids, including best drama series.

In one scene shared by PBS, Hugh Bonneville’s Robert Crawley, also known as Lord Grantham, is shown confessing to his wealthy American wife Cora, (Elizabeth McGovern), about an investment gone wrong.

“Has some of my fortune been lost?” she asks.

“Almost all,” he replies, tearfully.

Matthew and Mary, who traveled a rocky road to what looked like blissful marriage, are shown in an angry confrontation in which she accuses him of disloyalty to the family.

Tart dialogue involving MacLaine’s Martha and Smith’s Violet, the dowager countess, also looks to be a hallmark of Season 3. It begins airing in September in the U.K. and in January on PBS.

“When I’m with her, I’m reminded of the virtues of the English,” Violet says of Martha.

“But isn’t she American?” asks a puzzled Matthew.

“Exactly,” Violet replies.

I cannot wait for series three! Are you excited?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.