Nearly two years after Downton Abbey went off the air, most of the beloved ensemble cast is back in action on screen and stage, with Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens and Joanne Froggatt leading several high-profile projects coming out this fall.
Even though the period drama ended in 2015, this year can definitely be dubbed “2017: Life After Abbey.” And to think, all we care about is a Downton Abbey movie!
Check out what’s coming up (and highlights of a few things you may have missed):
Good Behavior (TNT)
Dockery, aka Lady Mary, was one of the first cast members out of the gates with a decidedly un-Downton-like character, playing con artist and recovering drug addict Letty Raines on TNT’s Good Behavior. “I was very fortunate when it came along,” Dockery told ET. “I wasn’t consciously looking for something so vastly different.” The show proved to be a hit and returns with a second season in October.
It’s the first of two series starring Dockery coming out this fall. The other is Steven Soderbergh’s seven-part limited series about notorious criminal Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) hunting down Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), who takes refuge in the home of widow and outcast Alice Fletcher (Dockery).
Time and the Conways (Broadway)
Opens 10/10; in previews now
In a grand return to the stage, McGovern and Pitch Perfect’s Anna Camp take on a revival of J.B. Priestley’s play about the decline of a wealthy British family in the mid-1900s. The production, directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), marks McGovern’s first Broadway role since playing Ophelia in a 1992 Roundabout production of Hamlet.
The Man Who Invented Christmas (Theaters)
Perhaps the busiest Downton alum, Stevens has made Matthew Crawley a thing of the past. He kicked things off with the titular role on FX’s Legion, which has been renewed for a second season, and the live adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Those hits were then followed by back-to-back releases of Colossal, Kill Switch, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, The Ticket and the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Permission. Stevens closes out the year with two biopics, about the lives of Thurgood Marshall -- he plays Lorin Willis, not the Supreme Court justice -- and Charles Dickens. “I've felt like I've grown so much as an actor,” Stevens told ET of the opportunity to showcase a transformation from lord and lover to a multifaceted character actor. “To be given the opportunity to play in all these different spaces and to see where some of them might lead -- and I'm not going to claim that all of them are going to be successful avenues -- but I enjoy exploring them all.”
Viceroy's House (Theaters and On Demand)
W1A (BBC Two)
The Commander (Acorn TV)
Bonneville, Downton’s former patriarch Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, knows how to pick projects with notable guest stars. Viceroy’s House, about the last man to hold that position in India, stars Gillian Anderson as Lord Mountbatten’s wife, and Breathe, Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, stars Andrew Garfield as a man affected by polio. “I have a small part in that,” he admitted to ET, “[but] I leaped at the chance to work with him, and with Andy.” (And for the record, he has yet to see a script for a Downton Abbey movie…)
Liar (Sundance TV)
Mary Shelley (TIFF)
Following the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Mary Shelley, about the author’s first love, Froggatt is back on TV with Liar. The six-part miniseries stars the former Anna Bates as a newly single teacher whose attraction and subsequent date with a renowned surgeon (played by Ioan Gruffudd) has far-reaching and unexpected consequences.
Darkest Hour (Theaters)
After becoming a late addition and breakout star of the Downton cast, James set her sights on film. This summer she appeared opposite Ansel Elgort in Baby Driver, which proved to be a sleeper hit, earning over $200 million at the box office despite not being a franchise film. For Darkest Hour, James will step back in time as Elizabeth Nel, the personal secretary to Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s war film.
The Ritual (TIFF)
While it doesn’t have an official release date for the U.S., The Ritual was picked up by Netflix following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it opened to rave reviews. A story about campers, including the formerly snide Thomas Barrow, who encounter a supernatural menace while hiking in Northern Sweden, it offers up plenty of scares.
Cold Feet (ITV/BritBox)
The U.S. is not the only country addicted to revivals of ‘90s shows. Cold Feet, a relationship dramedy, was revived in 2016, with a second new season returning in September. Finneran, aka Sarah O'Brien, joins in a supporting role. It’s one of several series -- The Moorside, The Loch -- fans have been able to catch her on in 2017 as they eagerly await the return of Happy Valley, the hit crime series that will debut new episodes in 2018.
Jessica Brown Findlay
After Lady Sybil was killed off, Findlay spent a few years bouncing from one small role to the next until she landed Harlots on Hulu. On the period drama, which premiered in April, the actress plays Charlotte Wells, a high-end prostitute who followed her mother into the brothel business. “I just adored reading a character that you sort of love but also feel really frustrated by and makes bad life decisions sometimes,” she told ET of her character, who certainly has a mind of her own.
Fox had a small role on Downton as Andy Parker, joining the show in its final two seasons. And he’s since followed it with an appearance in Christopher Nolan’s war epic, Dunkirk, which stormed theaters earlier this summer. If you couldn’t tell him from the other white English 20-something actors, don’t worry; they all looked the same.
The Good Fight (CBS All-Access)
The former Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones star kicked the year off with CBS All-Access’ first original series, The Good Fight, a highly anticipated spinoff of The Good Wife about Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and her return to law after her friend loses all her savings in a Ponzi scheme. The show was renewed for a second season, with Audra McDonald joining the star-studded cast as a series regular.