Maggie Smith Isn’t Leaving Downton Just Yet, Says Studio

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Downton Abbey Season 2 on MASTERPIECE ClassicPart 7 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 9pm ET on PBS Shown from L-R: Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess and Hugh Boneville as Lord Grantham

Everybody breathe deep: Despite weekend reports that Maggie Smith has asked to be written out of Downton Abbey after season three, a representative for Carnival Films says the rumors are "complete nonsense." She goes on: "We never comment on future story lines but it's not true that she's leaving." Reps from Masterpiece and Smith's agents declined to comment, but that's still fairly reassuring, right? We'd sleep better if she'd just renew that contract already (no one at Vulture has slept since the season three death story line was reported), but you take what you can get from the Dowager Countess.