It's been revealed that Downton Abbey will be dropped from Netflix this month, leaving fans little time for a rewatch. On May 31, all six seasons of the beloved historical drama will leave the streaming service. This is just 10 days after the theatrical release of Downton Abbey: A New Era, the franchise's newest movie which opens in theaters on May 20.
The Downton Abbey TV series was created by Julian Fellows. It debuted on ITV in the United Kingdom on Sept. 26, 2010. The show made its U.S. launch in January 2011. The show ran for 52 episodes, eventually ending with a Christmas special in 2015. The first Downton Abbey film, a continuation of the series, was released in 2019. The film was critically acclaimed, with the Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus reading, "Downton Abbey distills many of the ingredients that made the show an enduring favorite, welcoming fans back for a fittingly resplendent homecoming." The movie was a hit with fans as well, earning $194 million at the box office, on a budget of between $13 and $20 million.
In 2016 when Downton Abbey completed its five-year TV run, Fellows spoke with Deadline and shared why he chose to end the show. "What happens in the end with any serial drama is there's a limited number of things that happen to human beings. You do start to understand why, in Dynasty, Fallon ended up going up in a rocket ship with aliens," he explained. "There are moments when you're just thinking, 'What can I make happen to them now?' And I think, if you stay too long, you start to repeat.
"Basically: are we happily married? Do we like our job? Are the children doing well? Are our parents OK? I mean, this is all our lives. When you've explored all of those for all the characters, then I think it's time to say goodbye," Fellows added. "And I like that it ended happily.
"I feel that if an audience has been loyal to you for six years, they deserve to go away from the last episode feeling good. And Edith, especially, deserved a happy ending. I had teased people, with the end of the series before the Christmas special — with once again, it had all gone wrong," he finally said. "But it came right in the end, and I wanted her to outrank Mary."