After five seasons of upstairs-downstairs politics, romance and heartbreaking deaths (Still miss you, Matthew!), Downton Abbey is ending after its upcoming sixth season.
And while millions of fans are devastated over the mere thought of losing the beloved PBS period drama, its stars are ready to say goodbye.
"I haven't taken a poll, but I think that the actors in general really feel as though it's the right time for it to end," star Elizabeth McGovern (aka Cora Crawley) told E! News while promoting her new film, Woman in Gold, which also stars Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren. "I don't think anybody wanted it to go on beyond it's sell-by date."
Calling the ending "bittersweet," McGovern explained Downton Abbey's final season will "feel like a natural conclusion." Why? Press play on our exclusive interview with the lovely McGovern to find out.
After it was officially announced that the drama would be ending, producer Gareth Naeme explained, "I think our feeling is that it's good to quite while you're ahead. We feel the show is in incredibly strong shape…the show is so popular globally, but the danger with this sort of thing is to let them go on forever."
But that doesn't mean fans should rule out the possibility of a movie or spinoff series. "It is definitely something we're contemplating. It would be great fun to do," Naeme said of a big screen move, adding, "There are no plans to make a spinoff. There's been endless speculation about this, but there are no definite plans for a spinoff. Again, I couldn't rule it out."
Downton Abbey begins its final season in early 2016 on PBS in the US. A fall debut is planned in the UK.
—Reporting by Michael Wilber