‘Downton Abbey’: What’s New For Season Four

Downton Abbey Season 4 on PBS in January 2014.

Downton Abbey, the immensely popular British period drama has added several new faces to its established cast. On Monday, it was announced that actor Paul Giamatti (John Adams, Sideways, Barney’s Version, Cinderella Man) would be playing Lady Cora’s brother in Season 4.

What can we expect to see in the new season?

Giamatti will play Cora’s “free spirited” playboy brother Harold, starring alongside the iconic Shirley MacLaine, who played their mother last season, and the regular cast members on Season 4, as reported by PBS Masterpiece

In a statement Managing Director of Carnival Films and Executive Producer Gareth Neame says: “Downton Abbey has seen many great characters visit the house over the years and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast of Downton Abbey in Season 4. We hope audiences will be as excited about them as we are.”

Other cast members joining Downton this season include:

Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys who visits the family as a guest for a house party.

Nigel Harman as Green, a valet.

Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the Dowager.

Joanna David in a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil.

Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as a guest who sings in the house.

Gary Carr is the first black character in Downton, a jazz singer named Jack Ross.

Season 3 ended in dramatic fashion when one of the main characters, central to the plot, cousin Matthew Crawley played by Dan Stevens was killed in a car crash hours after welcoming his and Lady Mary’s first born and heir to Downton.

Last year the show also saw the loss of Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) during childbirth, which leaves two fatherless children to deal with on Season 4.

Downton Abbey premieres on PBS Masterpiece January 5, 2014.

Will Branson (Allen Leech) and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) end up together in Season 4?