Here’s something to fill the Downton Abbey-shaped gap in your viewing schedule. The Gilded Age, the new US-set period drama from Downton creator Julian Fellowes, will be coming to the small screen in 2019.
Set in the glamorous world of 1880s New York during a time of major social upheaval, a 10-episode first series of Fellowes’ latest project will debut on US channel NBC next year, with a UK broadcaster yet to be announced.
If this news gives you a sense of déjà vu, you’re not mistaken. Plans for the show were first unveiled back in 2012, but production was postponed due to Fellowes’ Downton writing commitments.
If NBC’s synopsis is anything to go by, the show will mix Downton’s addictively soapy approach to the classic period drama with plot points that appear straight out of an old-time Gossip Girl.
Taking place in an era of ‘huge fortunes made and lost, and of palaces that spanned the length of Fifth Avenue,’ the show will follow Marian Brook, described as ‘the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who will embark on infiltrating the wealthy neighbouring family dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell, his rakish and available son Larry, and his ambitious wife Bertha, whose “new money” is a barrier to acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set.’ (See, that’s where we’re seeing the Gossip Girl parallels).
‘To write The Gilded Age is the fulfilment of a personal dream,’ Fellowes said. ‘I have been fascinated by this period of American history for many years and now NBC has given me the chance to bring it to a modern audience.’
‘The truth is, America is a wonderful country with a rich and varied history, and nothing could give me more pleasure than be the person to bring that compelling history to the small screen.’
Casting details for the show are yet to be announced.
Netflix's deep-dive into the personal conflicts, political intrigues and public controversies of Queen Elizabeth II's reign is the streaming service's most expensive original drama to date. Luckily, every penny of The Crown's rumoured £100 million budget appears to have paid off. Claire Foy gives a brilliant, sympathetic performance as Elizabeth, nailing the plummy vowels and poise of the monarch without descending into caricature - but it's Vanessa Kirby's Princess Margaret (and her controversial romance with a divorcé) that will have you gripped.