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Downton Abbey

'Downton Abbey': The cast keeps busy

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Jessica Brown-FindlayLady Sybil In the upcoming studio drama A Winter’s Tale — which is looking to begin production in October — she’ll play a dying woman who falls in love with a thief.

Elizabeth McGovernLady Grantham McGovern is working on a second folk-rock album. She also has the film Cheerful Weather for the Wedding premiering at the 2012 Tribeca film fest.

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'Downton Abbey': Nine great withdrawal cures

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The Beauty and the Sorrow (2011)Peter Englund Englund’s history of the war — told through the lives of 20 ordinary citizens on both sides — makes, improbably enough, for a mesmerizing melodrama that rivals any TV soap.

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Hit List: March 9, 2012

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1. Tyra Banks graduates from Harvard Business School program Giving CNBC the confidence to finally greenlight her deglammed spin-off, America’s Next Top Strategic Planning Model.

2. Paula Abdul settles lawsuit for $900,000 from woman who fell in her driveway Abdul didn’t believe that the woman was being truthful at first, repeatedly telling her lawyers, ”The only person who stumbles in this driveway is me.”

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SoundBites: Feb. 3, 2012

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”It’s my fault. I let her out, and then I got caught up in my couponing.” — Manny (Rico Rodriguez), explaining how the dog got into the pool, on Modern Family

”We’re used to Matthew now. God knows who the next heir will be. Probably a chimney sweep from Solihull.” — Violet (Maggie Smith), on the possibility of losing another heir, on Downton Abbey

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SoundBites: Feb. 3, 2012

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”It’s my fault. I let her out, and then I got caught up in my couponing.” — Manny (Rico Rodriguez), explaining how the dog got into the pool, on Modern Family

”We’re used to Matthew now. God knows who the next heir will be. Probably a chimney sweep from Solihull.” — Violet (Maggie Smith), on the possibility of losing another heir, on Downton Abbey

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Golden Globes 2012: 5 TV highlights

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Showtime Steps Up. It took decades, but Showtime finally gave HBO a run for its money — tying its fellow pay-cabler in total wins. Each took home three statues, with Showtime’s Homeland (starring Globe winner Claire Danes) beating out Game of Thrones for Best Drama. ”This company has been around for 35 years, and this is the first time it has won for best series,” said president David Nevins. ”It’s a milestone.”

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Book Swap: Jan. 20, 2012

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Love This? Downton Abbey This addictive British period drama, about the aristocratic Crawley family and the equally engaging staff that serves them, is a runaway hit for PBS. The second season begins in the throes of WWI.Try This! The House at Tyneford At the onset of WWII, a Viennese Jewish socialite flees to England to become a parlor maid. Like Downton, this romance compellingly explores the upstairs-downstairs dynamic of estate life.

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Downton Abbey

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CHANGE OF HEARTS Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey

The unexpected success of the British series Downton Abbey, shown in the U.S. in 2011, caused more of a pop culture stir than anything PBS had broadcast in a long while. That delightfully soapy, upstairs-downstairs look at life in the grand, cold heap owned by the Earl and Countess of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) was so cleverly constructed by creator Julian Fellowes that its importance to public broadcasting can hardly be exaggerated.

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Return to 'Downton Abbey'

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When Downton Abbey took home six Emmys, including one for best mini-series, last September, reaction came in the form of surprise and confusion: What was this throwback period piece about an aristocratic family and its servants?

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Hit List: Jan. 6, 2011

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Lady Gaga’s former assistant files lawsuit claiming she was forced to be the singer’s ”personal alarm clock” We thought she was whining until we found out she literally had to dress in a Thierry Mugler-designed clock costume with a snooze-button hat.

Justin Bieber ranked No. 2 on list of charitable celebs He gave nearly half his income to groups researching Bieber fever, a serious illness that affects one in three adolescent girls, and one in eight of their mothers.

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