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"Downton Abbey" shows season 3 sneak peek at TCA

"Downton Abbey" cast at TCA press tour for the show's third season. PBS

(CBS News) "Downton Abbey" cast members attended the Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour on Saturday to promote the drama's third season.

The audience at the Los Angeles event was shown a preview reel from the show's highly anticipated new season.

Still reeling from receiving 16 Emmy nominations last week, creator Julian Fellowes and actors Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora Crawley), Joanne Frogatt (Anna), Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) and newest addition Shirley MacLaine, who plays Lady Cora's mother Martha Levinson, were all in attendance to the panel.

Colye, Froggatt, Dockery and Bonneville all received individual Emmy acting nominations.

"We're gobsmacked," Bonneville said of the show's reception in America, according to the Los Angeles Times.

At the start of the session, one of the "Downton" executive producers introduced a trailer for the third season, which indicated lots of drama for all the characters, including hardships for two of the shows couples - Lord and Lady Grantham and Lady Mary and Matthew, reports the Boston Globe.

Bonneville seemed to sympathize with the plight of Mister Bates, who ended last season being put in jail. When asked about the nature of his character, Bonneville started to answer the question and then unbottoned his shirt, revealing a "Free Bates" T-shirt underneath.

"Downton Abbey" season three will begin in January on PBS.

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