‘Downton Abbey’ season 4: Will it have Jeremy Irons as a viewer?

Downton Abbey CastIf you are a very successful show, there is one thing that you are almost guaranteed that you can count on: there will be a legion of people out there somewhere who will not be altogether keen on cheering you on.

Based on what we are hearing at the moment when it comes to “Downton Abbey,” one of those very people here may be Jeremy Irons … at least depending on how you are choosing to interpret a recent comment that the actor made. Irons has long been known for being just about as intelligent and devoted to his craft as actors can be, which is what has given him such a serious reputation over the years. But is he really trying to diss the show? Let’s first start with what Irons actually said at PBS’ recent TCA panel (per The Wrap) while discussing the upcoming “Shakespeare Uncovered” series:

“What I’m really excited about with Shakespeare Uncovered is we’ll see some of the best British actors playing Shakespeare … What you can do is to open up to this huge American audience… show them that actually television doesn’t end with Downton Abbey. If you think that’s good, then watch the Shakespeare productions. You’ll see what real writing, what real stories, what real characters are about. A Ford Fiesta will get you there and give you a good time. But actually an Aston Martin…”

Is Irons saying that “Downton Abbey” is a bad show? Far from it. It’s like when Stephen Colbert used to ask people whether or not George W. Bush was a great President, or the greatest President. He still thinks that “Downton Abbey” is a good show … but not the best show on television. The fact that he somehow has this viewpoint has caused the story to blow up.

Irons’ publicist later wrote to Entertainment Weekly, and more or less echoed what we are saying here:

“What he said was Downton Abbey, terrific; Shakespeare, the best. I think there would be few who would dispute the point.”

One thing we can be sure of? That it’s not a lock that “Downton Abbey” season 4 will be on Irons’ viewing list when it premieres on ITV this fall. If you do want to read some more scoop when it comes to this season, you can do so over at the link here.

Photo: ITV

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