This Year's 'Downton Abbey' Parody Has Murder, Santa Auditions

That escalated quickly.

Well, that's one way to top a George Clooney appearance (opens in new tab).

Downton Abbey's annual, highly anticipated Christmas sketch is almost here, and this year's episode raises the stakes with some good, old-fashioned murder—and a TV-show crossover with Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope trailing a killer to the estate's Santa auditions.

The video is part of the Text Santa (opens in new tab) initiative, a UK charity telethon that raised more than $10 million to benefit charities in 2014, and like its predecessors, includes loads of (yet-to-be-seen) celebrity cameos and humor that often pokes fun at the show's, ahem, weaknesses.

Watch the preview below, and stay tuned for the full episode. P.S. If only the *real* Christmas special could end like this (opens in new tab), eh? 😞

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.