Downton Abbey, the wildly popular PBS "Masterpiece" series, will be back with new and returning stars. Sadly, there will be no "Dallas" styled plot twist to save beloved Matthew Crowley, who was portrayed by Dan Stevens. Stevens decided not to renew his contract with the show, so writers gave him a one-way exit. According to a Mar. 2 casting news update at the PBS Website, new and beloved favorites will help to heal the viewer's broken hearts.
Tom Cullen will visit the Abbey as Lord Gillingham, a guest at a house party. He is an old friend of the Crawleys. His major acting breakthrough came in 2011 when he starred in the indy film, "Weekend".
Nigel Harman will portray Green, a new valet. He starred in "Eastenders" and "Blood Diamonds".
Dame Harriet Walter will portray Lady Shackelton, an old friend of the Dowager. She has a serious track record with films like "Babel" and "Atonement".
Joanne David is an acting newcomer who will visit the Abbey as the Duchess of Yeovil.
Julien Ovenden will show up as aristocrat Charles Blake.
Dame Kiri Ti Kanawa is a New Zealand/Maori soprano who became an international opera star. She will sing at the Abbey.
Old favorites will be back to carry the drama and tragedy forward, according to a Mar. 2 article in the Sacramento Bee.
Shirley McClain will be back as Lord Robert Crawley's hilarious, feisty American mother-in-law, Martha Levinson, but she might not return until the season 4 finale.
Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern will return as Lord and Lady Crawley.
Michelle Dockery will carry on as Lady Mary Crawley a widow and new mother.
Jim Carter will return as the beloved, but overwhelmed supervising butler, Carlson.
Brendan Coyle will keep the audience happy as the highly popular, but tragic butler, Bates.
One more cast member is leaving the show. Siobhan Finneran was everyone's favorite evil housemaid, Sarah O'Brien.