This Week in Downton Abbey News: See Shirley MacLaine's Debut As Cora's Mom and Martin-Inspired Opening Credits (VIDEO)

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You may have heard that when Downton Abbey returns for Season 3, the unrivaled queen (er, Dowager Countess) of rarefied snark, Violet Crawley, will have a new "friend" to complain about in Martha Levinson, Lady Cora's mother. The newest visitor to the estate will be played by none other than Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine, and thanks to an intrepid Downton fan who happened to catch TVLand's broadcast of the American Film Institute’s 40th Life Achievement Award ceremony last night, we now have our first glimpse of her in action.

See a higher-quality (but shorter) version of this clip here.


Welcome to Downton Abbey, Shirley! I can't wait to see Martha and Violet (Maggie Smith) face off.

Also, because it's Monday and why not, here's a fan-made opening sequence for Downton Abbey that re-imagines the series as Martin. Sing it with me now: Downton.... Downton... Downton...

[Downton Martin Abbey via Vulture]


Downton Abbey Season 3 is expected to air in the U.S. (as part of PBS's Masterpiece) in early 2013.

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