‘Return to Downton Abbey’ Hosted by Susan Sarandon Premiere Date Announced by PBS

Yes, the British are already halfway through season four of Downton Abbey, but PBS is willing to placate those of us in America who are waiting for the January premiere with a special hosted by national treasure (and actress) Susan Sarandon.

PBS announced today that Return to Downton Abbey, a special look back at the three previous seasons of the upstairs/downstairs saga, will premiere Sunday, December 1st at 9PM on PBS. Oscar winner and Downton Abbey fan Sarandon will serve as our guide for the evening as the program reveals behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members, and video clips of favorite moments, as well as a look at what’s ahead in season four.

“We invite viewers to dive back into the Roaring Twenties as excitement for the new season continues to grow,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS in a statement. “This special shines a light on the most compelling aspects of ‘Downton Abbey’ and previews the intriguing things to come.”

Return to Downton Abbey will focus on three themes:”The Changing World of Downton Abbey,” “The Women of Downton Abbey” and “Love and Other Relationships at Downton Abbey.” Cast members interviewed include Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Shirley MacLaine, Sophie McShera and Laura Carmichael.

Once again, the special will air Sunday, December 1st at 9PM; season four of Downton Abbey premieres stateside January 5, 2014 on PBS.

[Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger]