The fifth season of "Downton Abbey" will premiere on American television sets on January 4, but the return date for another hit PBS series, "Sherlock," remains a mystery, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger said Tuesday.
"We will have to wait to know when it's finished and available," she said of the hit thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, The Associated Press reported
. As for "Downton Abbey," Kerger defended the network's decision to air the British drama months after it premiered in the U.K., saying the growth of the American audience last year — 16 percent — justified the strategy.
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PBS is making its shows available for flexible viewing, using both digital platforms and creative scheduling on public TV stations, she said. All episodes of Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts," for instance, will be available for streaming the day after the first episode airs on Sept. 14.
"Downton Abbey will have some surprises in it," Kerger said, speaking to the show's plot.
While talking to a TV Critics' panel Tuesday, show actors Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech said Cupid's arrow is not headed for their characters this upcoming season.
The actors said they find it "very funny" some fans are hoping for a romantic pairing for in-laws Lady Mary Crawley and Tom Branson.
Both characters are widowed and have become confidantes in their grief.
"Their friendship has really grown," said Dockery, who reminded that at one point her aristocratic TV alter ego couldn't fathom the idea of having a chauffeur marrying her sister.
"They're after the same thing for 'Downton.' Sustainability," said Leech. "You definitely get the idea they get together on a united front with the idea of making sure 'Downton' is going to be around."
It's not all business though, says Dockery, who says they're also "both looking for love."
"But not with each other," quipped Leech.
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