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PBS announces “Downton Abbey” season four premiere date

PBS has announced that Season 4 of British period drama "Downton Abbey" will premiere on Jan. 5, 2014. The season will run for eight weeks, ending on Feb. 23.

Like the seasons before it, the fourth season will again lag the U.K.'s broadcast, which will run in the autumn of 2013 on ITV. Last season, this caused some controversy among fans, as spoilers and leaked videos hit the Internet before the U.S. broadcast -- the biggest upset being the death of Matthew Crawley in the season finale.

In February, PBS president Paula Kerger told Salon that despite the possibility of spoilers, a several-month lag in broadcasting still makes sense for the scrappy network, however:

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