‘Downton Abbey’ final season to begin in January

Attention, all you “Downton Abbey” fans: The final season of the popular British drama will begin Jan. 3, leading up to a finale on the first weekend of March, PBS announced Monday. On the Sunday before its final episode, PBS will air a marathon of the season up to that point and a behind-the-scenes program on how the show was made, reports the Associated Press. The network will also try to use “Downton Abbey” as a launching pad for “Mercy Street,” a Civil War drama premiering Jan. 17 directly after an episode of the outgoing hit.

Detroit rocker Rikki St. James dead

Local musician Rikki St. James died Sunday. The guitarist was active in the Detroit punk scene of the 1970s and played with the band Motor City Bad Boys. The group played in Detroit clubs, as well as at Max’s Kansas City and CBGBs, according to, which also reported that St. James had been battling cancer.

Drew Lane leaves Sports 105.1

Longtime Detroit air personality Drew Lane and Greater Media have parted ways — again. The broadcaster announced that Lane will depart his afternoon drive show on the broadcaster’s Detroit Sports 105.1 station immediately, as he did not renew his contract. Steve Chessare, vice president/market manager for Greater Media Detroit, said the issue wasn’t money. “The only issue we had is in show content,” Chessare said. “Drew has done a phenomenal job for Greater Media for 24 years, and he was instrumental in us getting the sports station launched, but we’ve come to recognize that we’ve got to be true to our format, which is sports, both to the audience and our clients and partners, that we deliver a sports product.” ... Out of respect for Drew and what he’s built and how successful he’s been, we’re OK with his decision not to continue and we wish him nothing but the best.” Lane has hosted the sports talk show since August 2013, a change of pace from the long-running “Drew and Mike” show he co-hosted at Greater Media’s WRIF-FM for years before that. “We’ve been talking about this for awhile, so it was no big shock today,” Lane told The News on Monday. “It was not about money, absolutely not. It was about adding a third person to the show ... somebody from the sports world ... Having the chemistry our show had for all these years, I just didn’t really want to do a three-person show.” Sports 105.1 midday host Matt Dery will serve temporarily as the fill-in host.

Muse announces Joe Louis Arena date

Alternative rock trio Muse will perform at Joe Louis Arena on Jan. 14, the band’s reps announced Monday. Tickets for the show — $39.50, $59.50 and $69.50 — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster’s channels, the Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices and Pre-sales begin Wednesday. The band will perform “in the round,” with a stage at the center of the arena. X Ambassadors, who scored a hit with “Renegades,” will open the show. Muse’s most recent album, “Drones,” was released in June and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart. Muse’s last area performance was a March 2013 concert at Joe Louis Arena.

‘Petticoat Junction’ actress dies

Pat Woodell died Sept. 29 at age 71. The actress was best known for her role as Bobbi Joe, one of the three sisters on the 1960s show “Petticoat Junction.” Woodell, who went by her married name Patricia McDade off-screen, was battling cancer for the past two decades, the L.A. Times reports.

Also ...

Next month New Bethel in Detroit will host a Gospel Greats concert on Nov. 22 with Pastor Shirley Caesar, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, the Williams Brothers, Leandria Johnson, Minister Marcia Dyson and New Bethel’s own Rev. Robert Smith Jr.

Reality television star Jenni Farley (JWoww) got married to Roger Mathews over the weekend, and they had more than nuptials to celebrate. The couple, who have one child together, announced at the reception that a second child is on the way.

Susan Whitall and Adam Graham contributed

Tuesday’s birthdays

Tom Petty, 65

Viggo Mortensen, 57

Snoop Dogg, 44

John Krasinski, 36

ASAP Ferg, 27

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