On a recent afternoon, things on location at “Downton Abbey” were characteristically English. There were stiff upper lips among cast and crew, despite the fact that the beloved show is more than halfway through filming its sixth and final season.

“We’re not in the least bit sentimental yet,” said Hugh Bonneville, who plays the Crawley family’s proud but bungling patriarch, Lord Grantham.

The series has become the most-watched drama in PBS history. It has racked up 51 prime-time Emmy nominations, and its cast has twice won the Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble in a drama series.

The fifth season, which ended with the crowd-pleasing engagement of Carson, Downton’s butler, to Mrs. Hughes, the estate’s housekeeper, averaged nearly 13 million weekly viewers. So why end it now?

“You want to leave when they’re still sorry you’re going,” said series writer and creator Julian Fellowes.

The original plan was to end the show after Season 5, but executive producer Gareth Neame pushed for one more season in order to tie up loose ends.

“Downton Abbey” has turned its veteran character actors Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Penelope Wilton and Lesley Nicol, into celebrities. “I’ve been acting for about 44 years. So to be in something which is the most successful thing any of us will ever be involved in at this time of my life, it’s odd really,” says Carter, who portrays Carson.

Questions to be answered in the season ahead: Will Carson and Mrs. Hughes work together romantically as well as they do professionally? Will Daisy finally decide to leave service and become a farmer or, better yet, a revolutionary? Will the Bateses get a break already?

Is this the end of Replacements (again)?

An­oth­er sign in the end of the re­united Re­place­ments came Fri­day at the Primavera Sound Festival in Bar­ce­lo­na, where Paul Westerberg said dur­ing the per­form­ance that it was the last time the band was play­ing to­gether, Pitch­fork re­port­ed. Westerberg also re­port­ed­ly said that the band had stayed at the ho­tel in lieu of com­ing in for sound check and then smashed his gui­tar, the online music magazine said. The ’Mats had been mum about fu­ture plans af­ter this show. And fans had tak­en to Face­book to decipher the in­di­vid­u­al let­ters that Westerberg has been spray-paint­ing on both sides of his white T-shirts through­out the band’s spring Back by Un­popu­lar De­mand Tour.


Baptism: Princess Charlotte, the newborn daughter of Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, will be christened in a private ceremony July 5 at St. Mary Magdalene Church on Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate. Charlotte’s late grandmother, Princess Diana, was christened at the same church. Charlotte was born in London on May 2.

Staff reports, News Services