HBO has snatched up The Gilded Age, the latest dramatic series from award-winning writer/executive producer Julian Fellowes. Fellowes (Downton Abbey) created The Gilden Age and reunites with director Michael Engler for the period drama. Engler directed the Downton Series series finale and was also at the helm of the film follow-up to the award-winning series.
“I feel very privileged to be making The Gilded Age with HBO and Universal Television. It has been a dream of mine for some time, as I am fascinated by this brutal and intensely glamorous period of America’s history. It will be about ambition, of course, and envy and hatred and, perhaps most of all, about love. I hope people will enjoy the series. I know I will enjoy making it,” said Fellowes.
Season one will consist of 10 episodes.
“Given the opulent scope and scale of this richly textured character drama, HBO is the perfect home for The Gilded Age,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. “We’re all huge fans of Julian and I know I speak for Bob Greenblatt – who was involved in the development of this series while at Universal Television – when I say we’re thrilled to bring his undeniable genius to our viewers.”
The series had originally been set up at NBC, however the scope and scale were a better fit for an HBO production rather than an NBC primetime series. Fellowes came up with the idea for The Gilded Age in 2012 and in 2018 NBC gave the series the go-ahead.
“I’m thrilled that HBO and Universal Television will be bringing The Gilded Age to life,” stated executive producer Gareth Neame. “This is a compelling part of the American story and has remarkable parallels with the world we live in as these people set many of the wheels in motion that drive us today.”
The Gilded Age is a HBO and Universal Television co-production.
Julian Fellowes won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Downton Abbey. He also won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Gosford Park in 2002.
“The American Gilded Age in 1885 was a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new money, which is being reflected again today. Against this backdrop comes young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Southern general, who moves into the home of her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City.
Accompanied by the mysterious Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her stupendously rich neighbors, led by a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife struggling for acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path in this exciting new world that is on the brink of transformation into the modern age?”