BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

In a casting move sure to cause a stir among Brit period drama extremists worried that a US invasion is happening to the majestic estate of the Grantham family, American actor has joined the cast of Downton Abbey.

The Sideways actor is set to enter the show next year, for the Season 4 finale. Although Downton fans will have to wait until the feature-length final episode of the fourth series for Giamatti's entrance, it looks to be a good one.

He'll play Harold, the "maverick, playboy brother" of 's Cora, Countess of Grantham, according to TV Line.

Giamatti will be returning alongside fellow American and returning guest star , who played Cora's mother, Martha Levinson. But don't freak out just yet, Brits! Giamatti is an accomplished theater actor with a good footing in period dramas thanks to his role in HBO miniseries John Adams, for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe. Great news then, but seriously, why must we wait until the finale?

Are you excited to see Giamatti appear in Downton Abbey Season 4 when it begins on PBS January 5, 2014?



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