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disaster preparedness

Not to Scare You, But Maggie Smith Hasn’t Renewed Her Downton Contract Yet

Please understand this British tabloid report is to be taken with a grain of salt, but here is the news: While Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora), Joanne Froggatt (Anna), and Brendan Coyle (Bates, still hanging on from prison) have all signed contracts for a fourth and fifth season of Downton Abbey, Dame Maggie Smith is still holding out. So, for the record, are Dan Stevens (Matthew), Jessica Brown Findlay (Sybil), and Siobahn Finneran (O’Brien), but the Mirror is quoting an unnamed Downton source who reports “concern” that Smith may not return to the show. To Vulture eyes, this looks like a slightly scarier read on a report that contract negotiations are ongoing, but should the worst happen, at least you are ready. (Oh God, can you ever be ready for something like this? Sign, Dowager Countess. Please sign.)

Photo: PBS