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It has been announced that Paul Giamatti will make a guest appearance in Downton Abbey’s fourth season’s finale episode. He will be playing Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) playboy brother, Harold Levinson. Shirley MacLaine will make a reappearance as Cora and Harold’s mother, Martha Levinson. Could the Grantham/Crawleys be making their way to America? When rumors that Shirley MacLaine was joining the cast began to spread last year, many fans hoped that some characters would be making their way across the Atlantic. While we did not get to see our favorite aristocrats make their way across the pond in the series’ third season, perhaps the new one might transport the family to the United States where they could experience the roaring twenties to the fullest.
Executive producer Gareth Neame has stated that Harold is “free-spirited” and that he and his mother, Martha, will “upset the Granthams' apple cart.” Giamatti joins other announced newcomers, such as Dame Harriet Walters, Nigel Harman, and Tom Cullen. This latest addition to the ensemble is particularly exciting, as Giamatti has shown to be a formidable actor with a great pedigree. We don’t know how exactly he will fit into the world of Downton, but his character is definitely worth anticipating. Downton Abbey’s fourth season will premiere in the US on January 5, 2014 on PBS.