If you thought Zayn leaving One Direction was the worst news to come out of the UK last week, you obviously didn’t hear that the next season will be Downton Abbey‘s last.
Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from PBS viewers across the country.
But take heart, Crawley aficionados, behind every cloud is a silver lining and it was announced today that Downton Abbey will live on – in a spin-off prequel centered around one of its minor standout characters.
Taking a cue from Breaking Bad (which begat Better Call Saul), Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes announced this morning that Downton would live on in the form of a new situation comedy starring actor Kevin Doyle as much put-upon footman Joseph Molesley. The series is titled Oh, Molesley and will follow the comic misadventures of the befuddled butler as he tries to maintain his station and better himself in the downstairs of Yorkshire’s best – and most hilarious – houses.
“It will be very much a farce in the vein of Are You Being Served? or Dad’s Army,” Fellowes said. He also noted the program will be set several years before Molesley was in service of the Crawleys but does not rule out a crossover or two with characters we’ve come to know and love. Oh, Molesley will be recorded late in 2015 and will debut on ITV one year from now, April 1, 2016.
Personally, I’d love to see the Dowager Countess come to high tea and Molesley spill the Earl Grey all over her. One cutting look later and he just facepalms himself with the silver tea tray and knocks himself flat out. Oh, Molesley!