the cast of Downton AbbeyMaggie Smith tipped her hand when she commented recently that she may or may not be leaving "Downton Abbey," and now comes word on why that might be: The PBS drama will end after its upcoming sixth season.

TVLine reports that the Emmy-winning series will come to an end after the next batch of episodes airs, noting that the move came down to logistics. The site writes:

The decision to end Downton was mostly a practical one - the cast's contracts expire at the end of Season 6 and, with one or two possible exceptions, the actors are ready to move on.

"You can keep the show going without Matthew and Sybill, but you can't continue it without the entire Crawley family," an insider notes.

Parent company NBC Universal had no comment on TVLine's report. Stay tuned for an official announcement about "Downton"'s end (and when season six may premiere).

[via: TVLine]

Photo credit: BBC/PBS's Masterpiece