‘Downton Abbey’ season 3 finale spoilers: How much longer do we have?

“Downton Abbey” season 3 has turned out to be just about as strong as the first two despite some of our concerns, but will the show be able to keep up this sort of momentum forever? Conventional wisdom says “no,” especially when you look back at the history of series that last beyond three seasons. While there is an occasion uptick here and there in the quality (“Dexter” season 7 or “How I Met Your Mother” season 6 are two fantastic examples), more often than not season 4 is when things start to sputter.

When you have a show as good as what Julian Fellowes has created here, you have to be cognizant of that; luckily, he is, and as a part of his most-recent interview with Vanity Fair, he admits (at least through an answer talking about the rate in which the characters age on the series) that this is not a series destined to last nearly as long as some manage to in America:

“What we don’t want is to go too far ahead and have the actors doing wobbly-stick acting with talcum powder in their hair.”

It is the tradition of most British series to not last that long, largely in part because they tend to have the good sense to realize when it is best to let the story run its course rather than just drag things out to the point where they are no longer interesting to watch. You want to end your show when viewers are still talking about it, and ending “Downton Abbey” after another year or two (as five seasons is a frequently-discussed rumor) seems to be the perfect way to do that.

How long do you want to see this particular series last?

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