Downton spin-off hope for creator
Downton Abbey fans upset that the show is bowing out will be pleased to hear that the Dowager Countess may again appear on screen.
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith in the hit period drama, might return in a future show by Downton's creator Julian Fellowes.
The Gilded Age is believed to be a drama focussing on New York high society families in the late 19th century - so it would be a younger Violet if she were to feature.
Lord Fellowes told The Mail on Sunday: "Robert Grantham would be in his early teens, Cora would be a child. A young Violet could make an appearance."
Downton will end when the next series finishes although show bosses admitted they are ''contemplating'' a film version of the ITV hit.
The show, which attracts an audience of millions of viewers in hundreds of countries, has also been a critical hit winning Golden Globes, Emmys and Bafta awards since its debut in 2010.
Last month, Lord Fellowes said: ''The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course, we had no idea.
''Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience.
''I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here and, if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment.''
The show, filmed at Highclere Castle, features a mixture of established stars including Dame Maggie and helped launch the careers of actors including Michelle Dockery, Lily James and Dan Stevens.
Around 11 million viewers in the UK have regularly followed the fortunes of the Crawley family, and the people who work for them, from the sinking of the Titanic through the First World War and beyond.
It has also featured guest appearances by names including Kiri Te Kanawa, Shirley MacLaine and - in a sketch for an ITV charity show - George Clooney.