NBC to Air ‘Downton Abbey’ Special Sept. 19

NBC will air the hour-long special Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event Thursday, Sept. 19. The film Downton Abbey, which focuses on the king and queen of England visiting the grand estate, opens in theaters Sept. 20.

Actor and dancer Derek Hough hosts the special, which is filmed at Highclere Castle in England. The cast will speak about what made the PBS series unique, and what the movie will offer.

Julian Fellowes created Downton Abbey, about an aristocratic family living in a Yorkshire mansion early in the 20th century, and the staff that feeds and dresses them. The show lasted six seasons, wrapping in 2015. The cast includes Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt.

The film is written by Fellowes and directed by Michael Engler.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.