The popular ITV period drama, which features Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham, is reportedly set to reach its conclusion at the end of the sixth series, with Hugh scheduled to start work on a new project about 19th century New York.
A source explained: "It's an open secret that Downton is ending this year.
"Some of the actors are keen to let it be known they will be available for work after the summer. Some are interested in the US, where Downton is as popular as it is in the UK."Some of the show's biggest stars' agents are said to have attended last week's Screen Actors Guild Awards - where Downton won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast - and were busy seeking working for their clients.
The insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Joanne Froggatt, Edith Carmichael and Allen Leech were in Los Angeles for the awards last week and there were several meetings about both TV and film roles."
Meanwhile, ITV is keen to find a ¬replacement show for Sunday nights during the autumn period and has asked independent production companies to pitch for the slot.
A TV insider explained: "They are looking for something which is long-running and ambitious and which could appeal to the mass audience in the way that Downton has done."
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