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HBO takes Downton team’s new drama

A period drama from the team behind Downton Abbey that has been in the works at US network NBC has landed at premium cablenet HBO.

Julian Fellowes

HBO has given a 10-episode production commitment to The Gilded Age, which comes from Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and Michael Engler. It will be a coproduction between HBO and Universal Television.

The series, which had been in development with NBC in both 2012 and 2018, is set during the American Gilded Age in 1885.

The producers describe the period as one 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.”

The Gilded Age follows a Southern general’s orphaned daughter who moves into the home of her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City. Accompanied by a mysterious African-American woman masquerading as her maid, she gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her rich neighbours.

“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 of programming at HBO.

Fellowes added: “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, hatred and, perhaps most of all, love.”

Fellowes is the creator, sole writer and executive producer of the hit series Downton Abbey, a movie continuation of which is currently in the works. The show was produced by Neame’s Carnival Films, which is owned by NBCUniversal. It ran for six seasons and aired in more than 250 territories worldwide.

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