Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has another epic period drama in the works, this time focussing on the boom years of 1880s in New York City – otherwise known as the Gilded Age – and the conflicts between two wealthy families, in a tale of old versus new money.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming series The Gilded Age…
When is The Gilded Age on TV?
The series will air in the US on HBO. No air date has been announced, but filming will reportedly begin in spring 2020.
No UK broadcaster has been attached yet; we’ll keep this page updated with further developments.
What is The Gilded Age about?
According to HBO’s synopsis, “It’s 1885, and the Gilded Age is in full swing when Marian Brook, a young orphaned daughter of a Southern general, moves in with her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City.
“With the help of Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her rich neighbours as she struggles to decide between adhering to the rules or forging her own path in this exciting new world.”
Fellowes originally started working with NBC on a US period drama back in 2012, when Downton Abbey mania was peaking across the pond. Originally there were suggestions that he would pen a spin-off prequel detailing the courtship between Lord Robert Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his rich American wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern).
However, over the past few years that project has evolved away from a straightforward prequel – and has moved over to HBO instead.
“It’s not completely HBO picking it up, so much as our producer Bob Greenblatt moved to HBO,” Fellowes told RadioTimes.com. “So it’s a slightly different thing. But it is now in pre-production and we will make it [in 2020].”
Asked whether the series was a Downton Abbey prequel, he said: “No. That came out of a newspaper, not my mouth. And in fact it’s about a period much earlier than Downton, 1880s New York, and its various different types, and things that were going on there.”
But Downton fans may still be holding out hope for a brief appearance from a younger Robert – and a younger Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith’s character)…
“It might be quite fun to have a young Violet getting into trouble, and her son, Robert, and daughter, Rosamund, who would be in their early teens in the 1880s,” Fellowes previously told The Telegraph.
Who stars in The Gilded Age?
Model and actress Louisa Jacobson will play plucky American orphan and protagonist Marian Brook.
The Good Fight and Mamma Mia! actress Christine Baranski has also been cast as aristocrat Agnes van Rhijn, while Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon plays Ada Brook, Agnes’ poor sister.
Tony nominee Denée Benton also stars as Peggy Scott, an African-American woman who poses as Marian’s maid.
Is there a trailer for The Gilded Age?
It’s far too early for any trailers yet, but we’ll keep this page updated.