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COSTA MESA, Calif. (December 11, 2014) – PBS SoCaL will premiere Downton Abbey, Season 5 in the greater Los Angeles area. This new season of PBS’ highest-rated drama will be broadcast beginning Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCaL’s KOCE TV-HD.

To kick off the new season and celebrate with fans locally, PBS SoCaL will hold two preview screenings in advance of the January 4, 2015 premiere. Both screenings will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015, with one screening held at The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles and one at the Lido Live in Newport Beach. Each screening will offer a sneak preview of the first episode of Season 5. In addition to the screenings, PBS SoCaL will also re-air episodes from “Downton Abbey, Season 4” leading up to the new season.

In season 5 viewers can expect to follow plot threads left dangling from last season, including Lady Mary’s courtship contest, Lady Edith’s trials as a secret single mom, Thomas’s scheming against Bates, Robert’s battles against modernity, Tom’s quest to be true to his ideals, Violet’s one-line zingers, and much more.

Returning stars include Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Robert James-Collier, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Lily James, Brendan Coyle, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Samantha Bond, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift, and Andrew Scarborough.

This acclaimed ensemble will also be joined by guest stars Harriet Walter (Atonement), reprising her role as Lady Shackleton, and Peter Egan (Death at a Funeral), who returns as Lord Flintshire, together with completely new characters played by Richard E. Grant (Girls), Anna Chancellor (The Hour), and Rade Sherbedgia (24).

Downton Abbey, Season 5, airs Sundays, January 4 - March 1, 2015 on MASTERPIECE. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. Funding for the series is provided by Viking Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future. Local sponsor of MASTERPIECE featuring Downton Abbey include Lido Live, Land Rover, and Jaguar.

For more information or to attend a screening, please visit http://www.pbssocal.org/arts-life/events/downton-abbey-season-5-screening/

About PBS SoCaL

PBS SoCaL is PBS for Greater Los Angeles and is dedicated to educating, entertaining and enlightening viewers throughout Southern California.  With its three unique broadcast channels, PBS SoCaL’s KOCE-TV HD, PBS SoCaL Plus and PBS SoCaL World, PBS SoCaL provides award-winning programs like Frontline, NewsHour, NOVA, Nature and Masterpiece, as well as local productions including Studio SoCaL and LAaRT.  Through community outreach initiatives including PBS SoCaL Education, PBS SoCaL provides local schools access to new media materials that engage students in 21st century learning.  PBS SoCaL’s office locations include Downtown LA, Orange County and now Century City. Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at www.pbssocal.org.

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