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Eight to savor memories from past three seasons of Downton Abbey, and offer exclusive look at Season 4 -- with host Susan Sarandon

PHOENIX—(October 24, 2013) Eight, Arizona PBS welcomes Downton Abbey fans eagerly awaiting Season 4 of the British drama the New York Times calls an “instant classic” to tune in to Return to Downton Abbey, hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, Sunday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m.

“Return to Downton Abbey” will spotlight the most jaw-dropping, heartstring-pulling events from the past three seasons of Downton Abbey and provide a tantalizing taste of Season 4, featuring a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members and video clips of favorite moments.

“This 90-minute special gives our Downton Abbey devotees an exclusive opportunity to get reacquainted with the characters and dramatic storylines of the show – plus see exciting bonus content – in order to be ready for the upcoming Season 4 and all the fun surprises Eight, Arizona PBS is planning for the rollout of the new season,” says Eight, Arizona PBS General Manager Kelly McCullough. “It’s also a great way for new viewers to catch up on prior seasons of the show in time for the highly anticipated Season 4.”

Structured around three themes, Return to Downton Abbey explores “The Changing World of Downton Abbey,” “The Women of Downton Abbey” and “Love and Other Relationships at Downton Abbey.” Cast members interviewed include Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Shirley MacLaine, Sophie McShera and Laura Carmichael.

“Return to Downton Abbey” will remind viewers of the captivating cliffhanger in Season 3 of Downton Abbey, which left fans questioning:
    • How will Lady Mary cope now that Matthew is gone? Will she find love again?
    • How will cousin Rose affect the social order at the majestic English country estate?
    • How does Branson adjust to his new role as agent of the estate?

Interviews with creator and writer Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame provide an overview and context for the series and the upcoming season, which is sure to include more drama, rivalry, intrigue, jealousy, ambition and romance. Also interviewed is Rebecca Eaton, MASTERPIECE executive producer, who comments on the phenomenal success of Downton Abbey in America.

The much-anticipated Season 4 of Downton Abbey premieres on Eight, Arizona PBS on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m.

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For 50 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.