Carnival Films and ITV today announced that Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Paul Giamatti (John Adams, Sideways, Barney’s Version, Cinderella Man) has joined the cast of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama, Downton Abbey.
Giamatti will play Cora’s maverick, playboy brother Harold in the Christmas episode. He will be starring alongside Shirley MacLaine and the regular cast members for the dramatic climax to Series 4.
He joins new cast members Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Gary Carr who are all set to star in the fourth series.
Carnival Films’ Managing Director, Gareth Neame said, “We’re excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on Downton to play Cora’s brother Harold, the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith. We can’t wait to see him work alongside Shirley Maclaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham’s apple cart in this year’s Christmas Day episode.”
As well as filming an eight-part fourth series, Downton Abbey will return at Christmas 2013 with another feature length episode. The new series will see the return of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson alongside series regulars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter.
In the UK, Series 3 of Downton Abbey continued to hit new ratings highs, and was the most watched drama of 2012, averaging 11.9 million consolidated viewers. Downton Abbey also broke records in the US recently with the Series 3 Season finale, by beating all broadcast and cable competition to become the highest rated show on American television that evening. The series, which aired on Masterpiece on PBS averaged 11.5 million viewers, with the finale averaging 12.3 million viewers.
Downton Abbey is a Carnival/MASTERPIECE Co-Production, executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes and Liz Trubridge. Carnival is a division of NBCUniversal.