Pilot Scoop: Shonda Rhimes' Gilded Lilys Period Drama for ABC Casts Blythe Danner, Others

Two-time Emmy Award winner Blythe Danner has joined the cast of Gilded Lilys, a period drama pilot being executive-produced by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy) for ABC.

Madeline Zima (Californication) and Sarah Bolger (The Tudors) have also landed roles.

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To be penned by K.J. Steinberg (The Nine, Gossip Girl) — who with Betsy Beers is also an EP on the project — Gilded Lilys is set in 1895 and promises to deliver an epic love story, a vicious rivalry and a scandalous secret unfolding against the backdrop of the opening of New York’s first luxury hotel.

ABC’s 11 other drama pilot orders include Marc Cherry’s Devious Maids, the supernatural-tinged 666 Park Avenue, Beauty and the Beast (a reimagining of the classic fairy tale) and Gotham (about a female cop who discovers a magical world that exists within New York City).

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  1. Martina says:

    I’m really looking forward to this

  2. Ben says:

    I wanted to watch this as soon as I heard about it, now I need this to be picked up. Love Blythe Danner! Coincidentally I just watched the Grey’s episode with Madeline Zima.

  3. Bob says:

    Lots of Downton Abbey vibes from this. Who bets Blythe Danner’s character is like the Maggie Smith/Dowager Countess of this series?

  4. Tim says:

    I can see GILDED LILIES taking the Sunday 9 pm DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES slot and 666 PARK AVENUE taking the 10 pm PAN AM slot. Or maybe vice versa.

  5. Mark says:

    Blythe = <3. Loved her in Will & Grace and the Meet the Parents. Looking forward to seeing her as a series regular on a tv show. Hopefully she'll still be able to return to Up All Night though if needed.

  6. Maddy says:

    It can never be as good as Downton, since it’s an American production. Face it, the Brits those these type of period pieces soooo much better!

    • JJ says:

      I take your meaning. What seems to be lacking when Americans do this type of production is lack of attention to detail. Not to mention the fact that we tend to tear down our mansions and replace them, whereas the Brits preserve their great houses, respecting the history and the architecture, and use them for films. Having to build a set to resemble a Victorian mansion eats up a good deal of the budget and corners get cut.

  7. Bee says:

    i’d feel much better about this if it was being done by shonda herself rather than just being produced by her like off the map was. but i’m still very interested so i hope it turns out good.

  8. Bear75 says:

    Loving the sound of this one; hope it’s filmed in similar ‘glossy’ style homage as Pan Am or Castle’s Noir episode.

  9. Diva says:

    It’s being penned by a Gossip Girl writer, not a good sign.

  10. cj says:

    this years trends: Downton Abbey, The Hunger Games, and magic.

    • Templar says:

      And, like it or not, country is coming back into vogue. Get ready for western type shows [Dr. Quinn, Urban Cowboy], Big crossovers of country music into pop etc.

  11. Suri says:

    Boston is a diverse city. I wonder if the period drama aspect of this film translates into zero work for non-whites. (Its a big deal in a city with such a history of racial tension)

  12. me says:

    sad this wasnt picked up