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'Downton Abbey' announces end of run

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Jae Hong/AP
FILE – In this Sept. 18
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Although not entirely unexpected, the news is official: The next season of “Downton Abbey” will be its last.

“Inevitably, there comes a time when all shows should end and ‘Downton’ is no exception,” executive producer Gareth Neame told BBC News on Thursday.

Created by Julian Fellowes, the show follows an aristocratic family’s fortunes from 1912 to the mid-1920s. Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern have played the Earl and Countess of Grantham since the show began in 2010.

The drama, which won dozens of awards, became an international sensation, although ratings dipped in the fifth, most recent, season.

“Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain,” Fellowes said.

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Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter and Dame Maggie Smith are among other regulars on the show, in which masters and servants at the titular stately home (actually Highclere Castle in Hampshire) deal with numerous tribulations. Glitzy guest stars have included Shirley MacLaine, Paul Giamatti and Richard E. Grant.

Neame — who did not dismiss the notion of a potential spinoff — promised a “final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.” The final episode will air Christmas Day.

Fellowes’ next project is “The Gilded Age,” a period drama set in New York.

CUT MENDES NO SLACK(S)

Eva Mendes apparently hasn’t met a pair of pants she likes.

“If you see me in jeans, it’s probably because all my skirts are at the dry cleaners or just dirty,” the actress and model told the fashion website WhoWhatWear. “I mean, I think jeans are really uncomfortable actually — aren’t they? They’re so restrictive!”

The comments from the mom of 5-month-old Esmeralda (whose dad is Ryan Gosling) come a week after she caused a tizzy upon calling sweatpants the No. 1 cause of divorce in America.

QUICK TAKES

Marcus Mariota, winner of the 2014 Heisman Trophy, had a chance run-in with Jennifer and Joe Montana at Epic Roasthouse in The City on Tuesday. … Ben Affleck (accompanied by wife Jennifer Garner and daughter Violet) testified before the U.S. Senate about the importance of foreign aid to developing nations.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Kimbra is 25. … Giants catcher Buster Posey is 28. … Singer Fergie of Black Eyed Peas is 40. … Singer Mariah Carey is 45. … Director Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”) is 52. … Saxophonist Dave Koz is 52. — Staff, wire report

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