It’s been a long wait for the “Downton Abbey” movie, and we still have some months to go, but here’s a treat. Jim Carter (the Crawley family’s much-loved butler Mr. Carson) is hosting “Downton Abbey Returns!”

Jim Carter courtesy Sheila Burnett (L), Downton Abbey courtesy Focus Features (R)


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PBS is calling the television special a “nostalgic celebration” of the beloved hit series, which sounds delightful (and will get us all up to speed again for the movie). But the big news is that the program will also give PBS viewers a sneak peek at the “Downton Abbey” movie. 

In anticipation of the September 20, 2019 US premiere of the upcoming feature film Downton Abbey, “Downton Abbey Returns!” dives into all aspects of the most successful British drama ever – the stellar cast, superb writing, spectacular locations and dazzling costumes.





“Downton Abbey Returns!” features new interviews with the cast of the series, writer/creator Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame, and video clips of emotional moments from all six seasons.

Peppered throughout the two-hour program are never-before-seen, exclusive sneak peeks from the upcoming movie. You can see the official trailer here along with a look at the real-life events that were part of the plot of the series, and our thoughts on which historical moments may make it into the film.

When is “Downton Abbey Returns!” on PBS?

“Downton Abbey Returns!” is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations June 2 – 9, so you’ll need to check your local listings, but “Downton Abbey Returns!” premieres on PBS Sunday, June 2, 2019, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET, and is rated TV-G.

If your local PBS station isn’t airing “Downton Abbey Returns!” during the week of special programming, it may still come to your station at another time. 

If you want a reminder about the June 2 release, sign up for our free, weekly period drama newsletter here. It keeps you up-to-date about our reviews and news announcements, and will let you know when the PBS Masterpiece Summer 2019 Period Drama Schedule is up.  

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see The Period Films List, with the best historical and costume dramas sorted by era. You’ll also want to read about The Chaperone, The Gilded Age, and Belgravia.