DOWNTON ABBEY Creator Julian Fellowes To Create New Period Drama, THE GILDED AGE, for NBC

     November 27, 2012

julian fellowes downton abbey

Looking to class up their schedule, it seems that NBC has ordered a new series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.  Since the formerly ignored Edwardian period has found a TV and filmic renaissance of late, (which Downton Abbey has been largely responsible for), the new series will move back in time slightly to the vastly more chronicled Victorian Era, specifically the American Gilded Age.

The series, called — wait for it — The Gilded Age, will center around the wealthy titans of industry in 1880s New York.  For more on the series and what Fellowes has said about that historical era, hit the jump.

julian fellowes downton abbeyAccording to TV Line, Fellowes says of the 1880s in America,

“This was a vivid time, with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king.”

As TV Line points out, the news of this series’ pick-up comes not long after ABC passed on Shonda Rhimes‘ similarly-themed Gilded Lilys.  Perhaps that network felt burned after Fellowes’ disastrous (in all the wrong ways) Titanic miniseries aired there with little fanfare or critical appreciation last April, and decided historical dramas were not the way to go.

Still, Fellowes is best when he’s not up against icebergs or, say, war (I direct you to Downton Abbey‘s second season).  And his fast plot pacing and fun soap operatic stories may actually be a great fit for NBC.

In the meantime, fans of Fellowes’ work can look forward to the third season of Downton Abbey, which begins airing on PBS January 6, 2013.  Those who have seen it already air in the UK can confirm it’s a vast improvement over the show’s second season.  It was also recently announced that the show has been picked up for a fourth season which will begin production in February.