Dave Itzkoff on a possible end for Downton Abbey as the show ramps up product of season five (warning: there are spoilers in the article itself if you’re not caught up):

Mr. Fellowes has also noticed that American serials like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” have tended to run about five to seven seasons before reaching their natural conclusions. Asked if he was starting to contemplate an end game for “Downton Abbey,” Mr. Fellowes said, “I think you have to.”

“It’s not like a soap opera that can go on for 27 years,” he added.

Mr. Neame said he would like “to eventually end the show just before people want us to.” He added, “We won’t be around for 10 years, and we’re doing Year 5 now. So we’re going to be somewhere between 5 and 10.”

Nothing good lasts forever. And if it did, it would probably cease being good early on in that span. I’m guessing Downton Abbey will also end after about seven seasons.

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