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NBC Orders Drama ‘Gilded Age’ From ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator to Series

Julian FellowesIWC Gala in Honour of
Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock

The long-gestating NBC drama “The Gilded Age” is moving forward with a series order, the network announced Wednesday.

“Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes will write and executive produce the series, with “Downton Abbey” executive producer Gareth Neame also executive producing. The series has received a 10-episode order and is scheduled to debut in 2019. The series will be produced by Universal Television. The series was first put in development at NBC back in 2012.

The Gilded Age in 1880s New York City was a period of immense social upheaval, of huge fortunes made and lost, and of palaces that spanned the length of Fifth Avenue. In the series, Marian Brook is the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who will embark on infiltrating the wealthy neighboring 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.

Fellowes, who is an Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning writer, was honored with an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special and was nominated three other times. On the film side, he won an Oscar in 2002 and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his screenplay of “Gosford Park.”

“To write ‘The Gilded Age’ is the fulfillment 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. I could not be more excited and thrilled. 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 screen.”

“Downton Abbey,” which was produced by Neame’s Carnival Films, is recognized as one of the most acclaimed and popular British drama series of all time. It was an immediate hit in the U.S. and U.K. and won both the Emmy in 2011 for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie and the Golden Globe the following year for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. In fact, “Downton Abbey” is the most nominated non-U.S. show in the history of the Emmys with 69 nominations and 15 wins.