"Downton Abbey" has become a regular Airbnb vacation home.
It was announced Friday by the show's makers - Masterpiece on PBS and Carnival Films - that three new cast members are joining the show in Season 5.
British actor Richard E. Grant will join the cast as Simon Bricker, who visits the wavering estate as a guest of the Crawleys. It's a world Grant is quite familiar with, demonstrating his footman skills in 2001's "Gosford Park," which was penned by "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes. Perhaps Fellowes got the hint from Grant's 2012 interview with the Independent?
"I know Julian," Grant said then. "But I was never asked, I've never been up for it. Maybe next series."
Also getting in the upstairs/downstairs mix are Anna Chancellor ("The Hour," "Four Weddings and a Funeral"), who joins in a guest role as Lady Anstruther, as well as Rade Sherbedgia ("Eyes Wide Shut," "24"), who will play a Russian refugee.
Those behind the show are skimpy on details of the characters. But executive producer Gareth Neame, in a canned statement, offered this vote of confidence: "We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show."
The fourth season of "Downton Abbey" is currently airing and concludes Sunday. Its two-hour season opener brought in 10.2 million viewers.
The new season is set to follow the same hair-pulling rollout schedule: a British launch in the fall, followed by a winter debut in the U.S.
Distributed by MCT Information Services