Shirley MacLaine To Downton Abbey

Looks like the Dowager Countess is getting a little competition!

Veteran actress Shirley MacLaine will join the British hit Downton Abbey, which American audiences are just now discovering, when it begins filming its third season next month. She'll arrive at Downton as Martha Levinson, the mother of American-born Lady Cora Grantham.

MacLaine's character is expected to be a combatant to Maggie Smith's brilliantly sour Dowager Countess, who continues to steal every scene she's in.

We support this bit of casting news, but can we request just a FEW more episodes per season? Seven or eight just isn't cutting it.

Downton Abbey is currently airing its second season on PBS on Sundays. If you're looking to DVR, search "Masterpiece."