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'Downton Abbey' Producer Has a Different Take on Whether Actor Is Leaving the Show THR

"Downton Abbey" executive producer Gareth Neame said fans shouldn't be too focused on speculation over cast members, and particularly on recent reports that actor Dan Stevens is leaving the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.

Media reports in recent weeks indicated Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, is departing, as we reported previously. Neame wouldn't give a definitive answer on Stevens' plans for the series, but he said, "95 percent of what I read in the papers is completely inaccurate, so that should be taken with a pinch of salt."

"The thing with the show is, because we don't make a long run -- we shoot about 11 hours of TV a year -- our actors have the opportunity to go and do other work," he added.

The third season of the period British drama will debut on PBS on Jan. 6.