“Downton Abbey Revisited” special to tide American audiences over until Season 3

As U.S. audiences await the Season 3 premiere of the internationally acclaimed British drama Downton Abbey — which hits American shores Jan. 6, 2013, as part of Masterpiece Classic on PBS — they can get a taste of what’s ahead, and take a look back at Seasons 1 and 2, in the premiere special Downton Abbey Revisited.

Premiering Nov. 25 from 8-9:30pm ET on PBS (check local listings), Downton Abbey Revisited is hosted by Angela Lansbury (whom the PBS release describes as an “unabashed Downton Abbey fan). It will also feature popular series actors Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran and more, who will offer a recollection of favorite moments from the first two seasons. There will also be interviews with the creative team, and rare behind-the-scenes footage.

Creators Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame reveal the origins of the series and how they envisioned it as a combination of Edwardian-era tradition with modern multi-character storytelling. Hugh Bonneville talks about Robert, the Earl of Grantham’s relationship with the mother of all mothers, Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Smith). Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton describes the interaction between Violet and new Season 3 character Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine. Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, says that watching acting legends Smith and MacLane exchange slights was “like history being made.”

In addition to Froggatt, other interviews from “below the stairs” include Lesly Nicol (Mrs. Patmore); Sophie McShera (Daisy) and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson).

Downton Abbey Revisited will also offer American audiences a sneak peek at what’s in store for the characters as they enter the Roaring Twenties in Season 3. Will Bates be released from prison? What new mischief will Thomas, the villainous footman, and O’Brien, his scheming ally, get up to? Will wedding bells finally ring for Matthew and Lady Mary? And how will the formidable Dowager Countess handle the arrival of Martha Levinson, Lady Grantham’s American mother?

Downton Abbey Revisited premieres on PBS Nov. 25 at 8pm ET (check local listings).

Season 3 of Downton Abbey makes its U.S. premiere Jan. 6, 2013, on PBS. Leading up to the premiere, PBS will be re-airing Season 2 of Downton Abbey Sunday nights in December (Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30).

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Courtesy of © Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

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