Q: I think I’ve finally dealt with the death of Matthew Crawley on “Downton Abbey” and am now eager for more upstairs/downstairs drama. Can you tell me when new episodes will begin airing? — Frannie P., via e-mail
A: Series four of “Downton Abbey,” which pick up in winter 1922, is scheduled to premiere Jan. 4, 2014, on PBS. Michelle Dockery, who plays the newly widowed Mary, assured fans at the Television Critics Association panel this year that as far as she knows, no other major characters are set to exit this season (referring to last season’s deaths of Matthew and Lady Sybil).
Michelle told the TCA panel: “As much as I think it was sad to see Dan (Stevens, who played Matthew) go, it opens up an opportunity for Julian (Fellowes, “Downton Abbey’s creator and head writer) to take the character in all new directions. The fourth (season) is about recovery. She’s starting a new life. There are various suitors who are being thrown in her direction. But she’s very reluctant to go through with any of it because she can’t stop thinking about Matthew.”
Q: I thought Jay Leno was going to retire and hand “The Tonight Show” reins over to Jimmy Fallon. Is that ever going to happen? — Brendan W., Spokane, Wash.
A: NBC officially announced that Jay Leno’s last day will be Feb. 6, 2014, with his staff of 170 getting paid through September as part of the agreement. Jimmy Fallon will take over hosting duties on Feb. 24, after the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. “The Tonight Show” will relocate to New York City from Los Angeles for Jimmy’s tenure as host. Seth Meyers — writer, comedian and “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live” — will take over Jimmy’s position at “The Late Show.”
Q: Is it true that Lea Michele and Kate Hudson of “Glee” do not get along off-screen? — Bridget L., via e-mail
A: Chalk that rumor up to good acting — just because their characters didn’t get along doesn’t mean the actresses behind the characters don’t. In fact, Kate offered up her Los Angeles home to Lea so she could hide out for a few weeks after the death of her beau, Cory Monteith.
In other “Glee” news, NeNe Leakes is set to return for multiple episodes this season as Coach Roz. This makes me happy, because even though I love Coach Sylvester, there is always room for the hilarious Roz.
Q: I loved Showtime’s series “The Borgias” and was so bummed when it was canceled without a resolution. Any chance it’ll come back as a movie or something to wrap things up? — Jerry T., Montgomery, Ala.
A: The Jeremy Irons-starring period drama, which ended its third season this past June, has gotten a wrap-up — in e-book form. Mid-August saw the release of “The Borgia Apocalypse,” a book based on the intended two-hour series finale that never came to fruition.