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Downton Abbey show gets second series

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image captionThe Sunday night drama was written and created by Oscar-winning Julian Fellowes

A new series of costume drama Downton Abbey has been commissioned, ITV has announced.

The first episode of the series in September, starring Dame Maggie Smith, attracted an average audience of 8.8 million people, confirmed TV figures show.

The new eight-part series is expected to be broadcast next year.

The drama also broke the record for a single episode viewing on ITV's online catch-up service.

The Sunday night drama was written and created by Oscar-winning Julian Fellowes.

ITV's director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie said: "We're delighted with the audience response to Downton Abbey and the positive critical reaction."

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