Downton Abbey episodes to be cut down to one hour

Michelle DockeryDownton Abbey‘s third season will have its episodes cut back to an hour in length bar the opening instalment which will remain at 90 minutes.

Episodes for the second season of the Julian Fellowes penned drama were 75 minutes in length apart from the opening and closing episodes which were 90 minutes. However, the number of ad-breaks within the episodes prompted many, many complaints from viewers who felt they interrupted the flow of the episodes.  Media Guardian reports that for the third season episodes will now be 1 hour in length though ITV insists it has nothing to do with the viewer complaints.

ITV has commissioned a new series of Downton Abbey which will see the drama move into the 1920s following the second series which concentrated on the First World War. Leading cast members such as Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery and Penelope Wilton are all confirmed as returning. Beyond the third season its future remains unclear with Fellowes previously stating he had a three season plan for the series. If Downton Abbey‘s ratings hold up however its highly likely ITV will want a fourth season.