TODAY   |  December 09, 2013

Get a sneak peek at season four of Downton Abbey

In preparation for the new season of the popular British drama, NBC’s Andrea Canning travels to London to get a sneak peek at what’s ahead from the cast and crew.

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>> downton abbey returns next month. hold me al and matt. if you can't wait, we travelled for a sneak peek at the new season.

>> welcome to downton abbey.

>> thank you.

>> reporter: always on duty the butler never tires of welcoming guests.

>> don't worry about that my lady.

>> i get to know the secrets.

>> reporter: and the gossip too. he hears it all. upstairs and downtown stairs at downton. we travelled to england to peek in on season 4 anxious to find out what we can look forward to.

>> what can we expect for season 4 ? things ended on a terrible note. you had a bad year.

>> for my character, she is a woman that suffered the most unimaginably horrible things one could possibly suffer which is the death of a child followed by the death of a beloved son-in-law.

>> reporter: the sudden death in a car accident left the family in despair. baby george, born the day he died is the heir to the downton dynasty. when the series opens the family is in mourning. lady mary , matthew's wife and now widow is inconsolable. julian fellows, the creator of downton abbey was forced to kill him quickly when actor dan stevens wanted out of the show.

>> it gave us something very interesting for mary to do. we are allowed to accompany her on her road out of the grief.

>> action.

>> we wanted to find out more.

>> any secrets you can give us or hints.

>> matthew we believe died without a will. that's a major problem.

>> reporter: but not the only problem. conflict is brewing this new season. it's the roaring 20s and downton is trying to modernize. but not without resistance from maggie smith playing the countess.

>> how you hate to be wrong.

>> i wouldn't no. i'm not familiar with the sensation.

>> reporter: more romance and fabulous clothes. and new suitors for lady mary .

>> he's not bad look and he's still alive.

>> reporter: rumors of a rape and even a murder.

>> every time i remember what you have been through, i want to murder.

>> i heard a rumor that made me a little unhappy that you're going to become some what bad.

>> we can't give anything away but there's a very, very dark and serious dramatic twist in series four.

>> reporter: not the butler causing trouble again.

>> there are many good butlers in the past in films and literature and it's nice to be one.

>> my great, great grandfather was a butler for 8 british prime ministers .

>> seriously.

>> including churchill. should i be proud of the fact that my great grandfather was a butler?

>> you should get a dress on and come work with us is what you should do.

>> reporter: celebrities stepping in like the legendary opera singer . and more americans. gary car plays jack ross . a charming jazz musician and dangerous ladies man. as the american presence grows on the show, some of the cast members have created wish lists of who they would like to see drop in on downton.

>> p.diddy. george clooney , matt damon . they're cool.

>> meryl streep .

>> where do you think al roker and matt lauer would fit in?

>> i would like to think they would be high up in the servant hierarchy.

>> reporter: matt and al polishing the silver? well, we'll just have to wait. here at downton, they're keeping us guessing. for today, andrea canning at the real downton abbey in england.

>>> polishing silver?

>> i could do that. if you could only have seen the reaction on these two.

>> oh, she's my favorite.

>> you're still on season one, right?

>> i have seen four or five episodes of season one. so don't give anything away.

>> those who have actually gotten some dvds across the pond.

>> well, you know, if you have friend across the pond.

>> when you're truly a fan, sometimes you can get a little sneak peek .

>> i spent a lot of time across the pond.

>> natalie and i have already seen season four.

>> that's just about to start.

>> i haven't seen the christmas episode .

>> because they haven't aired yet.

>> but now we're talking about it, we can't let on that we know what happens because --

>> but you can't share now as your friends see it for the first time.

>> i know.

>> we can still commiserate.

>> download it now.