Earlier this month, Maggie Smith announced that she’d be leaving Downton Abbey after its next and sixth season. The Dowager Countess also hinted that it would likely be the last season of the series. “They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” she told the Sunday Times. “I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now.”
It turns out she was right. According to TV Line, the long-running British drama will shutter its rich, stately doors following season six, which is currently filming and will premiere in the UK later this year. While shrinking viewership may be to blame, it looks like casting logistics might be the bigger culprit — many of the cast members’ contracts are due to expire after this last go-around.
As a loyal fan of all things snide and sassy Dowager Countess, I couldn’t really imagine the show moving forward without her. Maybe if they’d actually scripted in some It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia lines for real, it would’ve stayed afloat longer? Either way, it’s sure been a rough week for Downton lover Aaron Schock.