Americans will once again have to wait for their "Downton Abbey," as PBS has announced that the fourth season of the English costume drama will premiere here on Sunday, January 5 of 2014.

In the U.K., ITV hasn't announced a premiere date for the new season, but the show's official website says it'll return in 2013, and the show's previous seasons all aired in the fall, followed by a Christmas special.

Though many American "Downton" viewers have complained about the delays — particularly when they result in being spoiled on major events (like last season's two big character deaths) months ahead of time — ratings for the show remain strong for PBS, so their decision to stick to this air pattern is not a surprise.

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at