PBS, the educational channel that turned yawn-worthy costume dramas into an addictive, fast-paced, emotionally gripping genre with “Downton Abbey,” is gearing up for Season 3. Expect the stately Crawleys to endure further economic decline and cultural revolution in the 1920s.
Executive producer Rebecca Eaton gave away a few hints earlier this year: “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately not going to make it. It’s the 1920s now.” Also, Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine will join the cast as Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern’s) mother. “There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine — Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever,” Eaton said. “And Maggie barely restraining her sneer in having to deal with this American. Maggie Smith is a handful, it’s true. She’s very difficult. She knows her worth, and she’s tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes.”