Downton Abbey, the British period-drama series, will return to PBS for its fourth season on Jan. 5, 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

At the PBS annual meeting on Tuesday morning, Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton announced the Downton Abbey news. The series will run for a total of eight weeks, from Jan. 5 to Feb. 23.

Returning for the fourth season will be Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle. Shirley MacLaine, a newer addition to the cast, will be returning as Cora Crawley’s (McGovern) mother, Martha Levison.

New actors joining Downton Abbey include, Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Gary Carr. Cullen will play Lord Gillinham, a past aquaintace of Lady Mary (Dockery), while Harmon will play a valet named Green.

As was reported after season 3 of the series wrapped, both Dan Stevens and Jessica Brown Findlay have left the Masterpiece Theatre series to pursue other opportunities. Their characters, Matthew Crawley and Sybil Crawley, both met untimely deaths in the season's final episodes. Stevens will soon appear in The Fifth Estate, about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, while Brown Findlay will next appear in Lullaby with Amy Adams and Terrence Howard.

The fourth season of Downton Abbey will begin airing in the U.K. in September, so beware of transatlantic spoilers!

Check out Uinterview’s recap of Downton Abbey’s season 3 finale here.

Get Uinterview's FREE iPhone App For Daily News Updates here.

Get the FREE Uinterview iPad app here and watch our videos anywhere.

Read more about: