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The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star cast plus guest star, Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey Season III airs over seven Sundays on UNC-TV beginning January 6, 2013.
Last season closed with the reluctant heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley, recovered from his war wounds and readied to tie the knot with the eldest of Lord and Lady Grantham's daughters, Lady Mary. Meanwhile, Mary's youngest sister, Sybil, has eloped to Ireland with the political-minded chauffeur, Branson, and is expecting a child.
A tantalizing glimpse ahead: Downton's impeccable butler, Carson, breaks in a new footman, who happens to be the nephew of the scheming lady's maid O'Brien. Following Matthew and Mary's engagement, Robert sticks to his duty to maintain Downton more firmly than ever—even as other great houses are crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I. In this changing landscape nothing is assured, and could it be that even the war-weary Crawleys must fight a new battle to safeguard their beloved Downton?