(USA TODAY) Begin the countdown,Downton Abbeyfans. The hit PBS series will return for Season 4 on Jan. 5, 2014.
Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton made official what had been speculated, announcing the news today at the PBS annual meeting. Season 4 will run for eight weeks, from Jan. 5 to Feb. 23.
Shirley MacLaine, who plays Martha Levinson, will return for Season 4, as will several new actors, including Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Gary Carr.
They joinDownton's returning cast, which includes Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle.
No specific premiere date has been set in the United Kingdom, although a Christmas 2013 episode is planned. Season 3 was broadcast in the U.K. before it ran in the USA.