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Downton Abbey: Season 4 comes to America

Downton Abbey returns......the conservative butler doesn't approve of changes in England.
Downton Abbey returns......the conservative butler doesn't approve of changes in England.

Downton Abbey fans were excited to see the return of America's favorite British drama from across the pond on PBS yesterday, Sunday, Jan. 5. Darlene Shirey has become more famous than some of the characters that are part of the drama with her appearances before each episode. If you don't know who she is, then you haven't been watching the show.

One lady in a Wichita Falls, Tex. restaurant glanced at her watch and said to the people near her, "Downton Abbey starts in twenty minutes. We have to go home!"

Downton Abbey has become to millions of fans in the United States and around the world what the Super Bowl is to football fans. Ever since Sir Mathew Crawley died in a tragic automobile accident on an English country road to end Season Three, fans have been biting their fingernails in anxiety as to whether the show will survive without him.

The opening show probably relieved most fans as it offered solid evidence that creator Julian Fellowes is the real star of this incredibly popular series which he promises will continue through Season Five and maybe even Six. His contract to produce "The Gilded Age" in the U.S. may be the only thing that stops Downton's incredible run of success.

"I can't do them both at the same time," he said. "So, although I've signed the contract, I won't start work on the Gilded Age until Downton ends."

He may put off doing GA if Downton's success continues at its same level.

Although, there is a negative blog from the Washington Post about the initial episode, odds are the show's avid fan base will neither care nor be affected by it.

While fans of the show come from all walks of life, probate attorneys should be especially drawn to it. The plot takes a devilish twist when it is discovered Lady Mary was left a letter from her deceased husband in which he states he intends to leave her in control of Downton instead of bypassing her in favor of their son George. Matthew, who was an attorney, never did get around to making a will so everyone assumed the estate would pass by the laws of intestate succession.

However, the legal experts determine the letter has the same effect as a will and Mary's stunned father is disappointed to learn he will not regain control of Downton as he'd hoped.

The show is much more than a drama as it is set against the backdrop of post-World War I England when the distance between lords and commoners is greatly diminished. While the aristocracy becomes concerned with how they'll pay the enormous taxes the government is levying upon their estates, the common folk see new opportunities for upward mobility.

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