As difficult as it can be to talk 'Downton Abbey' considering the extensive delay between seasons aired in the UK and in America (UK having seen the series 3 Christmas special, while we've only just started series 3), any TV fan knows that not every character is long for this world. In particular, Dame Maggie Smith has always been seen as a potential casualty from season to season, but it seems the Dowager Countess will indeed be back for season 4! Find out the latest 'Downton Abbey' scoop inside!

As understandable as it might have been for an esteemed actress like Dame Maggie Smith to win a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV, and ultimately decide to pass on 'Downton Abbey' season 4, it seems Dowager Countess of Grantham Violet Crawley isn't through with Downton Abbey just yet. Despite earlier rumors to the contrary, TVLine has confirmed with series creator Julian Fellowes that Smith will indeed return for season 4, which goes before cameras in February.

“With Maggie, you never know,” said Fellowes over the summer. “Other [actors] sign on for the next [season] and they sign for this and they sign for that, but she doesn’t. She stays her own person. But as far as I’m concerned, I hope she stays with the show until Downton falls down.”

Of course, not all of 'Downton Abbey's' stars will return for the fourth season, but we'll leave the spoilers to our UK friends who've already seen it.

What say you? Are you glad 'Downton Abbey' will at least keep Maggie Smith for season 4? Tell us in the comments what you think of season 3 so far!

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