Downton Abbey lead the British charge ahead of the Emmy Awards but the period drama could not compete with the gritty US shows.
The Emmy awards could make it a great year for the grittier side of the TV.
The stars of Downton Abbey reveal some of the plot lines in the upcoming fourth series of the hit ITV show.
The creator of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes is confident Shirley MacLaine will return to the show in the future. The Hollywood star played the Countess of Grantham's mother, Martha Levinson. Fellowes said: "She will come back, I'm sure."
Viewers will also see new mother Lady Mary Crawley as a widow after the shock death of her husband Matthew during the Christmas special:
"I was very, very sorry Dan left. I thought he did a terrific job for us, I think he's a terrific actor. But actually, nothing is harder to dramatise than happiness. When two people are happy, that's it.
"That's why in the old movies, they don't kiss and marry in the middle, they kiss and marry at the end, because in a way that's it.
"So now we've got Mary widowed, trying to control the estate, feuding with various other people about what the right way forward is, looking for a new life, dare one say it. All of that is really more interesting than two people sitting by the fire having a cup of tea."
Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV series:
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie, Series, or Miniseries - Maggie Smith - Downtown Abbey: Season 2 - #GoldenGlobes
Some of the British stars nominated for Golden Globe Awards have started arriving on the red carpet.
Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery is up for the Best Actress in a TV drama series, while fellow Brit Toby Jones is up for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV, for his role in The Girl.
The Christmas episode of Downton Abbey will be a two-hour show where the family head to a Scottish estate - filmed at Inveraray Castle - to visit cousins, against a backdrop of deer stalking and shooting in the Highlands.
But many of their staff have remained at Downton, and further dramas unfold in the family's absence, in the episode to be shown at 9pm on Christmas Day.
Executive producer Gareth Neame said: "While the cat's away, the mice will play. What will they get up to while the family is away?"
Downton Abbey is to return to ITV1 in 2013 for a fourth series of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama.
Filming of eight new episodes for autumn 2013 plus an extended special episode for Christmas 2013 begins at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios in February next year.
Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV, said: “Last year’s special episode set the nation talking on Boxing Day and 2012's Christmas Day episode is no different. As ever, Downton will take its audience through a whole range of emotions. All of life's experiences will feature in this episode.
“This is one episode you will want to see live with millions of others - and best have the tissues ready.” More on this story at ITV Meridian.
Downton Abbey will return for a fourth series on ITV. The channel had kept its audience of almost 12 million waiting longer than usual to confirm a further run.
Bosses are also warning viewers to have their "tissues ready" for the show's Christmas tearjerker.
This year's two-hour festive episode sees the family head to a Scottish estate to visit cousins, against a backdrop of deer stalking and shooting in the Highlands. ITV's director of drama Laura Mackie said:
"As ever, Downton will take its audience through a whole range of emotions. All of life's experiences will feature in this episode. This is one episode you will want to see live with millions of others - and best have the tissues ready."