Credit: ITV

It’s almost time for U.S. viewers to catch up with Downton Abbey Season 3, which has already aired in the U.K., but will premiere January 6, 2013, on PBS.

Downton cast members teased Season 3 details during a Q&A on December 7 in Los Angeles, and Hitfix shared some exciting scoop. Here are a few of the highlights:

No money!
At the Q&A, they showed a teaser of the first 20 minutes of Season 3 premiere, and it’s quickly revealed that Lord Grantham will be going broke, due to bad investments. “I think Robert met Bernie Madoff, and it all seemed like a good idea at the time,” actor Hugh Bonneville joked. “But it's a great catalyst into future episodes.” On that note, enter Cora's mom, played by Shirley MacLaine! “She's loaded, like all Americans,” Hugh joked. “There is hope she'll bail us out. When I first read Robert's reaction to [going broke], it was quite big and very strong. But it's his destiny to hand Downton down to an heir, thus this is a huge source of shame for him… there seems to be no way out, and you'll see it doesn't get much better [in coming episodes].” Poor Robert!

Credit: via IMDB

Thomas vs. O’Brien
Thomas and O’Brien were a nasty dynamic duo for a long time, but don’t expect them to be on the same side this season. Rob James-Collier, who plays Thomas, said his character does something “quite nasty” to O’Brien’s nephew, who comes to Downton to work as a footman. After that, “It's like the Cold War all over again,” Rob teases. “If there's one person in the world you don't want to piss off, that's Mrs. O'B… It gets more sinister and nasty toward the end. Someone's world gets turned upside down and destroyed, but I'm not saying whose.” Interesting...

What about the “cousin”?
At the Q&A, a fan wondered if the badly burned war veteran/alleged cousin might return to the show. Executive producer Gareth Neame said no, “We'll probably not see him again.”

Read the full story for more spoilers, including good news for Edith (for once), and watch the little promo below for a quick tease of the action.

Source: Hitfix