'Downton Abbey' Bosses Tried to Keep Show Going Without Julian Fellowes (Report)

Downton Abbey S05E09 Still NO SOCIAL - H 2015
Nick Briggs

Downton Abbey S05E09 Still NO SOCIAL - H 2015

The show's creator and writer was reportedly unwilling to hand over writing duties.

Following last week’s news that Downton Abbey would be coming to an end after the upcoming sixth season, both executive producer Gareth Neame and creator and sole writer Julian Fellowes admitted that PBS and ITV would have liked it to continue.

“I think there are some people involved who would be quite happy for it to go on for more years, but they didn’t resist,” Fellowes told The Hollywood Reporter.

But reports have now emerged that bosses at ITV and NBCUniversal – which owns Downton producer Carnival Films – actually attempted to convince Fellowes to hand over writing duties in order to keep the show going.

"ITV and NBC wanted Julian to let someone else do it, but it wasn’t something he wanted," a production source told Radio Times. "Downton is Julian’s."

Speaking to THR, Fellowes, who has written every single Downton episode, said that the show had been a "very big thing" for him and everyone involved.

"I’m sad to be saying goodbye to the actors and sad to be saying goodbye to the characters. But I think it’s the right decision. I think we’re going out on a high, we’re not waiting for it to start falling away," he said.