Downton Abbey will end after its upcoming sixth season, according to multiple sources.
The UK period drama, which airs on PBS in the States, will not continue into Season 7, TVLine reports.
The decision to call time on Downton comes as cast contracts are set to expire at the end of Season 6, with many of them ready to move on, as noted by an insider:
“You can keep the show going without Matthew and Sybill, but you can’t continue it without the entire Crawley family.”
Moreover, Downton‘s end follows months of speculation after series creator Julian Fellowes‘ NBC series The Gilded Age was given the greenlight at NBC.
With a fixed end date in place months before the final season gets under way, Downton avoids the Cancellation Reaper™ and joins the small club of serials that ended on their own terms.
Importantly, it should give the producers and writers enough time to map out a satisfying ending, though time will tell on that front.