‘Downton Abbey’ Hunk Talks Series Exit; Bravo Announces Schedule Changes for ‘RHOA,’ ‘Shahs’

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2012 TV's Biggest Shockers
Year in review of TV's most surprising moments.
Note: Spoiler Alert.Downton Abbey fans knew that resident hunk Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, had already voiced a desire to leave the series. So much so that creator Julian Fellowessaid earlier this year that if he left, they wouldn’t recast the role. Well, UK viewers were still shocked to see just how Crawley exited the award-winning show. “We were always optioned for three years,” he explained. “And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things,” he said of the decision to leave. [The Telegraph]

Bravo announced on Wednesday that it will be making some schedule shifts on Sunday nights starting Jan. 6: The Real Housewives of Atlanta will begin airing at 8 PM followed by Shahs of Sunset at 9 PM.

Also, Lisa Vanderpump’s spinoff series, Vanderpump Rules, will debut as part of a two-hour The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Monday, Jan. 7 at 9 PM. Part 1 of The Real Housewives of Miami reunion specials will air this Thursday at 9 PM with Part 2 airing Thursday, Jan. 3 at 9 PM. The Millionaire Matchmaker returns for a new season on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9 PM. Kathy Griffin returns with a new comedy special Kathy Griffin: Kennedie Center On-Hers on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 10 PM. Plus, a new season of her late night talker, Kathy, returns with a special live premiere on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 10 PM. [Bravo]

Fans of late Dallas legend Larry Hagman will get to see the man in a totally different role. CBS is airing a special called I Get That a Lot in which stars masquerade as normal people denying who they are when they’re recognized. Hagman played a salesman handing out barbeque sauce samples. The actor died in November. [TVGuide.com]

Just three months after leaving ABC’s General Hospital, Steve Burton has reportedly returned to the soap world on CBS’ The Young and the Restless. The unconfirmed casting certainly brings up some questions about the actor’s exit from the ABC series as he was cited as saying that he no longer wanted to work in Los Angeles, then moved his family to Nashville. [TV Guide Magazine]

TV Ratings: The Grinch not only stole Christmas, but the animated and Jim Carrey versions of the Dr. Seuss tale along with NBA coverage gave ABC a boost in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. But, CBS won the night overall with repeats of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles in the ad demo attracting 8.12 million viewers. [Hitfix]

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