The ITV drama "Downton Abbey" has an extensive cast consisting of several regular members including Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle and Michelle Dockery. Other cast members include Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens and Joanne Froggatt.
As of 2015, "Downton Abbey" airs in the United States as part of the PBS network's Masterpiece Theater series, although PBS does not directly produce the series. It focuses on the Crawley family, a clan of nobles presiding over the English town of Downton during the early 20th century. The series begins on the day after the sinking of the Titanic, explaining that a member of the family meant to marry Lady Mary Crawley, played by Michelle Dockery, died in the accident. As this man was the heir to the family's noble title, his death means that the rights to the land and estate pass to the next in line.
The series continues to follow the Crawley family and its staff over an extensive period of time, progressing quickly through the 1910s and into World War I and the years beyond. It deals with issues of class, constantly contrasting the noble Crawley family with its working class servants. It also presents many personal struggles through various romantic storylines between the characters.