Downton Abbey season 4: Premiere air date next weekend - What time does it start in UK? [VIDEO]

Published 14 September 2013  |  

Downton Abbey will finally premiere in the UK this weekend.

Fans of the British period drama will see the season 4 premiere on Sunday, September 22 on ITV at 9 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET).

The UK air date for the premiere of Downton Abbey was officially revealed on September 1 when a photo of the number "22" was tweeted to fans. The tweet read "22 days left until Downton Day."

A new trailer for Downton Abbey season 4 was also  released earlier this month. The first full trailer which runs for a full minute, shows the Crawley family moving forward after the sudden death of Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).

ITV

Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) is seen being courted by a new man, Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), who could potentially end up being her new suitor.

Downton Abbey season 3 ended with a shocking twist as Matthew Crawley was killed off, disappointing legions of fans.

AP
Michelle Dockery plays Lady Mary Crawley in the period drama, Downton Abbey

Photos of the upcoming new season were released last month. Press events and cast parties were also held in celebration of the new series.

Meanwhile, executives have locked stars into two-year contracts to avoid shocking exits, such as the death of Matthew Crawley that aired in last season's Christmas episode. Crawley's death shocked and upset fans, and it has been revealed that Julian Fellowes, the show's creator, had gone through great lengths to stop Dan Stevens from quitting the show.

Downton Abbey is Britain's most successful TV export ever and has a global audience estimated at 120 million.

The show's executive producer Gareth Neame said, "I can tell you that we have now signed up the main cast members until series five, so there won't be any more shock exits for a while." He also confirmed that Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) will be appearing in every episode of season 4, reassuring fans that she will not be leaving the show, despite rumors that she will be killed off. "I am afraid that she is like Mark Twain: reports of her death have been greatly exaggerated."

Guest stars for the new series will include Shirley MacLaine, Tom Cullen, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter and Gary Carr.

Downton Abbey season 4 will premiere in the US on January 5, 2014. The series will run for eight consecutive weeks after its US premiere.

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