Downton Abbey season 4: Sunday premiere excites fans - Will you be watching ITV online this weekend?

Published 20 September 2013  |  
ITV

Downton Abbey season 4 will be returning to the small screen on Britain's ITV this Sunday, seven months after the shocking finale episode of season 3.

Fans have been tweeting their excitement since the new season premiere date was announced this month.

The season 3 finale saw the untimely death of Downton heir Matthew Crawley. Season 4 will be set 6 months after his death, with widow Lady Mary Crawley dealing with her husband's sudden death and a newborn baby.

A sneak peak clip of the season premiere episode has been leaked online, which shows Mary dressed in black, looking out a window.

A nanny says to Lady Crawley, "I'm taking Master George out for some air, my lady and I wondered if you'd like to come with us."

To which Mary replied, "I don't think so... Poor little orphan."

Lady Crawley's remark upsets the nanny, who says to her, "He's not an orphan. He's got his mother – orphans haven't."

Season 4 will also see Lady Crawley being pursued by two potential new lovers and Jimmy taking an interest in Ivy.

The British period drama will premiere in the UK this Sunday, September 22 on ITV at 9 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET). It will be available to watch online via the ITV Player, available to UK residents only.

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

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. It is also set to feature Virginia Woolf.

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

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