Cast joins Julian Fellowes' 'Downton Abbey'

Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, added

LONDON -- Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Penelope Wilton will head the cast of upcoming ITV television drama "Downton Abbey," based on a script from "Gosford Park" and "Young Victoria" screenwriter Julian Fellowes.

The seven-part series will be produced for ITV by Carnival Films.

Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, the drama will portray the dramas of the Crawley family and their servants in the run-up to World War I and the political change and turmoil that period wrought on the English upper classes.

Carnival/NBCU and will start principal photography in March 2010. It will broadcast the drama on ITV1 in fall 2010.

"It's testament to the quality of Julian's wonderful scripts and the caliber of the production team that some of the brightest and best of the U.K.'s leading actors have come onboard," said ITV drama head Laura Mackie.