The fourth season of the British drama series "Downton Abbey" is to begin airing in the United States Jan. 5, PBS announced Tuesday.

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The public television network posted a countdown clock on its website to remind fans when to tune in.

Created by writer-producer Julian Fellowes, the show follows the triumphs and tragedies of a wealthy family -- and the the men and women who serve them -- in the early 20th century on an English estate.

It stars Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton.