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The cast of Downton Abbey has been busy this week.  They journeyed to Los Angeles for a press tour and they were dropping hints at every stop!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SPOILER ALERT~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is possible this post may contain spoilers so proceed at your own peril.

'Downton Abbey'Actors Michelle Dockery, left, and Joanne Froggatt speak onstage during the “Downton Abbey” TCA panel. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images / August 6, 2013)

Here is what we’ve learned so far:

  1. Michelle Dockery was shocked at the death of Matthew Crawley in Season 3.

Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) on the departure of Dan Stevens: “My first reaction was, ‘Oh, crap. What is going to happen?’ Because I thought, ‘Where can this story go now?’ We spent all this time on this will-they-or-won’t they relationships. But as much as it was sad to see Dan go, same as it was sad to see Jessica go, it opens it up for Julian (Fellowes) to write a new chapter.”

2.  The storyline of Season Four picks up during February of 1922 (a few months after Matthew’s death) and ends in Spring 1923.

3.  Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes don’t hook up.

Phyllis Logan On Whether Mrs. Hughes & Mr. Carson Will Finally Get Together: “No, we still have a very nice working relationship. We still have occasional spats here and there. We have a lot of respect for one another, and we occasionally get to drink a glass of sherry together… not as often as I would like.”

4.  Lady Mary and Tom don’t hook up either.

Michelle Dockery On Whether Mary Might Find Love With Her Sister’s Widower, Tom Branson: “They are very much friends and he is her brother-in-law, still. I think they become close because of what they’ve both been through. … And also, Mary becomes far more involved in the running of the estate with Tom, so we do have a lot of scenes together. But romantically, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.”

5.  Lady Edith is going to get be busy in Season Four.

Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith): “(Edith) is the Carrie Bradshaw of the ’20s.”

6.  Lady Mary has a bevy of suitors.

 “There’s a character called Blake, played by Julian Ovenden,” Michelle tells HollywoodLife.com‘s sister site TVLine. ”And Evelyn Napier (played by Brendan Patricks) comes back, as well. He was the one who brought the Turkish diplomat along. That was lovely to play scenes with Brendan again because we haven’t seen him since season one.

Of course, there’s one suitor — Gillingham, played by Tom Cullen – that appears to be leading the pack.

“Gillingham is an old family friend,” Michelle explains. “The sisters knew him when we were growing up, and we haven’t seen him since then. A party is organized at the house, and he is invited to it. He’s just a different character.”

7.  O’Brien leaves the Abbey.  Presumably with Shrimpie and Susan Flintshire on their way to India – it was sort of set up in the Christmas Special, if you remember anything before the final scene of Matthew dying.

8.  Mrs. Patmore gets an electric mixer.  Daisy loves it but Mrs. Patmore isn’t quite sure.

9.  Downton Abbey will be around for a Season Five.

“As far as we know, we’re all doing series five next year,” Michelle Dockery said. “Beyond that, it’s in the hands of [creator] Julian Fellowes and our producers. If other actors start leaving, it would be a worry, but it’s been fine so far.”

“The show is so popular around the world now…. It’s beloved,” said Neame. “The fourth season is extremely good health, and my mind is already in the fifth season. I will say we’re not going to World War II, but that’s 18 years away. We want to make the show. When we feel it’s had its time, hopefully we’ll know before you guys. But it’s not anytime soon.”

Why can’t it be January (or September, depending on where you live) already?!?!?!?!

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