Dec. 12, 2012 at 9:52 AM ET
The U.S. season three premiere of "Downton Abbey" is just weeks away, and thanks to the some new tidbits from the cast, fans have several fascinating twists and turns to focus on until the upstairs-downstairs drama is back.
Stars Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora, Countess of Grantham), Joanne Froggatt (Anna), Sophie McShera (Daisy), Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), and Rob James-Collier (Thomas) visited TODAY Wednesday morning and delivered the "Downton" details.
"It kicks off with the discovery that Robert has made a catastrophic financial investment, so we might have to move house," Bonneville explained to TODAY's own "Downton" superfan Savannah Guthrie.
"The for-sale sign is going up, and there's an open house on alternate Saturdays," he joked before adding, on a serious note, that "there's a roller coaster to come."
The addition of veteran stage and screen actress Shirley MacLaine in the role of Cora's mother is sure to account for some of those ups and downs.
"She brings a lot of the pizzazz that you would expect from Shirley," McGovern assured. "She doesn't have to do much. It's just there in her. And she also really presents a different culture -- which is America -- coming in to 'Downton Abbey.' We see her knock against Maggie (Smith's Dowager Countess) as the sort of English culture, and interesting things spark from that."
Another spark viewers can look forward to is the continuing romance between Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley, which is headed precisely in the direction it appeared to be last season.
"Well, at the end of season two, we saw that wonderful proposal, and I think we can reveal that a wedding is on the horizon," Bonneville teased.
But beyond that, the cast was determined to remain tight-lipped.
"I can't give anything away really," Carter insisted. "It's terrible. I don't want to be a spoilsport here on the program, but it would ruin it for people if they knew the story. It's more of the same, but bigger and better -- let's put it like that."
See what else the cast had to say, including talk of their adventures in America, in the clip above.
"Downton Abbey" returns to Masterpiece Classic on PBS Jan. 6.
What are you most looking forward to seeing when "Downton Abbey" returns? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
More in The Clicker: