Credit: Todd Williamson / Getty Images Photo: Julian Fellowes

Fresh off killing one of it's major characters after his three-year-deal was up — that's right, we're talking about the tragic loss of Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens) in the season 3 finale — everyone is pondering the one exit that could be devastating for Downton Abbey: co-creator and sole writer Julian Fellowes.

Julian's potential exit was debated about Monday night at a TV Academy event for the period drama. It was revealed in February that Julian had signed on to write and produce the NBC period drama The Gilded Age, so at the event, everyone was wondering if Julian could balance both shows simultaneously. The answer to that was a big NO.

Deadline's Pete Hammond asked Julian when Downton might be ending. "Well, we're always reading in the papers when it's ending, but we don't know when it's ending ourselves so how can some journalist know?" Julian replied. "I think it's still got some legs to it."

The question was pertinent, though, because earlier this year Julian admitted that it's possible he might need to devote himself to The Gilded Age full-time while leaving his Downton duties to others. Julian clarified that the new series, if it comes at all, would start up after Downton ends.

After the panel, Julian was asked if he might have to leave Downton before it concludes its run if the two series were to overlap. "I would answer that if I could," he said. "I simply don't know. Because we don't have an end date. The newspapers keep saying we do, but we don't. The question is how long will they wait for Gilded Age, and when will Downton finish up, and we just don't know those answers right now."

Could he choose between the shows? "Oh, I couldn't answer that," Julian said.

Downton Abbey returns for its fourth season January 5.

Source: Deadline

Credit: Celebified Photo: PBS Sets Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere Date For January 5th, 2014!