Downton Abbey final season
Fans will see Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) for the last time in the final season of "Downton Abbey" -- unless there is a movie. Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2014 for "Masterpiece"

Good things come to those who wait, and that’s especially true for American “Downton Abbey” fans. In the drama’s final season, they will once again have to wait for the British series to finish airing in England before it starts in the US. PBS will premiere the final season of “Downton Abbey” on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.

PBS made the announcement for the Season 6 premiere at a press conference for the Television Critics Association, where the cast and writers fielded plenty of questions about the show’s future. While the series finale will airin the US at the end of February, there is plenty of hope that the show will continue in the form of a movie or spinoff series.

Showrunner Julian Fellowes kept hope alive with his answer. “There’s speculation about whether we’ll ever make a ‘Downton’ movie, we might, but there are no firm plans,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Executive producer Gareth Neame also said that they are “definitely considering a film,” Vanity Fair reports. He even added that Fellowes could easily balance writing a screenplay and writing his new show “The Gilded Age.” The website also reports that their ideas for a “Downton Abbey” spinoff show wouldn’t necessarily show the future of the Crawley family, but the past. “If there is a spinoff series, it sounds as though it would be a prequel—but as Neame mentioned multiple times, no further ‘Downton Abbey’ plans have been cemented,” Vanity Fair noted.

Fellowes and Neame have kept rumors about movies and spinoffs alive all year. When they were questioned about the possibility in March, they were just as open to all possibilities. “It is definitely something that we’re contemplating. It would be great fun to do,” Neame told Variety. “I think it would be a wonderful extension.”

Before thinking about what will happen after “Downton Abbey” ends, fans first have to worry about Season 6. The final season will show Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) finally together, but will they get married? Will Barrow (Rob James-Collier) find love? Will Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) get into trouble? Fans will have to wait until 2016 to find out.

“Downton Abbey” Season 6, the final season, will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 on PBS. A time slot has not been announced yet.