Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

One of the great things about Downton Abbey is that it propels previously little-known stars to stratospheric levels of fame. Unfortunately, sometimes that kind of fame leads to the show’s leading actors deciding to bow out early (coughDanStevenscough).

Could the same be true for Joanne Froggatt? The 33-year-old actress got a lot of attention during Downton’s fourth season after her beloved character, lady’s maid Anna Bates, was raped by a visitor to the Abbey. We spent the rest of the season rooting for Anna, avidly tracking her progress as she brought herself out of the dark shadow cast by the attack.

Now, however, we worry we might not be seeing much of Anna come Season 5. The BBC reports Joanne has landed a role in a new BBC One drama called The Secrets. The project is pitched as five 30-minute standalone films with Joanne slated to star in the first of the series, featuring a man whose wife doesn’t know he’s married to another woman. Talk about upstairs, downstairs drama!

The fact that Joanne is only scheduled to appear in one episode gives us hope this is just a side project and not a new full-time gig. The Secrets is, however, currently filming in London, just like Downton, but never fear. IMdB tells us Anna and Bates are both set to appear in at least the premiere of Season 5!

Excuse us as we go lie down for awhile. All this casting news has us feeling a bit faint.

Sources: BBC, IMdB

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!