Scoop: NBC Orders Period Drama From Downton Abbey Creator Julian Fellowes

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The Gilded Age NBC Julian FellowesAmerica is getting its very own Downton Abbey!

NBC is developing The Gilded Age, a period drama centered on the millionaire titans of 1880s New York written and produced by Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

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

News of the project, which NBC describes as “an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance, and the vast fortunes they made – and spent,” comes just months after ABC passed on Shonda Rhimes’ similarly-themed drama pilot Gilded Lilys.



Comments (45)

  • why NBC of all networks. i can see this failing.

    Comment by Candice – November 27, 2012 10:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Or you can see it succeeding if people stopped thinking “Oh why this network…” and just gave the show a shot regardless of the network it airs on.

      Comment by iMember – November 27, 2012 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But it matters tremendously, with how they’re going to promote it and where they’ll place it in the lineup. Network has far more to do with just what channel # you turn to, and I agree – I can’t see a Julian Fellowes melodrama playing well on NBC.

        Comment by mawhi – November 27, 2012 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Everyone said the exact same thing about “West Wing.”

          Comment by Robert Taylor – November 27, 2012 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Isnt it NBC that is devolping the Dracula period show with JRM? If so, that may pair well with this. What are Sundays like on NBC? I’d watch two period dramas on Sundays…even if it were on NBC ;)

          Comment by BL – November 27, 2012 01:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Sundays on NBC are filled with Football in the fall, and The Apprentice in the Spring. I wouldn’t want their schedule going up against OUAT and Revenge.

            Comment by Someone – November 27, 2012 01:42 PM PDT  
      • Too many shows about filthy rich people. This is NOT good AT ALL .

        Comment by lechatnoir – November 28, 2012 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sweet! However, this could mean that the quality of Downton Abbey itself will go down–Fellowes might find himself in too many directions. We shall have to see….

    Comment by Ella – November 27, 2012 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He writes eight episodes of Downton Abbey every year. I’m sure the 13-22 in American won’t kill him.

      Comment by Midori004 – November 27, 2012 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He also writes those episodes alone (without a creative team) which is virtually unheard of for most American shows. Here’s hoping they don’t try and follow a 22 episode format or the show will be doomed before it even begins. Part of the success of Downton (and the high level of detail it gives each episode) has to do with the short format, uninterrupted airing that it receives. Stretched over 22 episodes – with breaks – at a lower quality due to budget and shooting schedule…I dunno. Plus, very few non-serialized shows succeed outside of cable (which is horribly sad) and NBC isn’t exactly a network that can afford to float a well crafted, but under-rated show.

        Either way, I’d give it a shot and tune in…but I’m not convinced it will succeed.

        Comment by C – November 27, 2012 01:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, there’s another show I won’t be watching.

    Comment by Michelle – November 27, 2012 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, It could be good, but I hope it won’t be a DA copy/paste thing. And anyhow, in any time in history the King was money in america.

    Comment by paula – November 27, 2012 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cougarton Abbey?

    Comment by Michael Sacal – November 27, 2012 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I should have read the article first. that joke doesn’t work, heh

      Comment by Michael Sacal – November 27, 2012 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Still made me smile. 10/19

        Comment by Sara – November 28, 2012 03:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Dan Stevens is really leaving Downton to stay in New York then Fellowes should try to get him to be the lead in this

    Comment by gary – November 27, 2012 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If Dan Steven is leaving Downton, I don’t think is to do another period drama.

      Comment by monica4185 – November 27, 2012 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Nah. I think this is so Dan Stevens will STAY on Downton Abbey. Suddenly, NBC is feeling much more magnanimous with the checkbook now that they have “their own” Downton Abbey — enabling them to pay him and others to stay.

      Comment by Pixley – November 27, 2012 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Dan Stevens isn’t leaving Downton.

      Comment by ben – November 27, 2012 12:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Period drama, aka “we only have white people in our cast”.

    Comment by Joe – November 27, 2012 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • BASICALLY I mean especially since it’s the 1880s in NYC ugh gross.

      Comment by mawhi – November 27, 2012 11:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • As much as people would have you believe it is, a lack of diversity on one show is not a failing. Across a whole network, you’d have an issue. I wouldn’t have needed any white people on the wire to think it was a good show.

      Comment by ben – November 27, 2012 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m sure there will be plenty of diversity in the downstairs staff.

      Comment by Templar – November 27, 2012 01:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh great another comment about political correctness and a lack of diversity… Blah,blah. The fact is that that in the 1880s New York was primarily white and Christian. During that time, African Americans still largely remained in the South and Jewish immigration wouldn’t for begin for another 40 or so years. Harlem in the 1880s was in fact an upper middle class white neighborhood.

      Comment by Ajs0503 – January 13, 2013 01:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This series sounds like had planned the ABC. The Gilded Lillys, i think produced by Shionda Rhymes.

    Comment by jlcamarero – November 27, 2012 11:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hahaha..i just gotta laugh. What makes NBC think this will be a hit with the 18-49 demographic??? Leave stuff like this to cable.

    Comment by Nate – November 27, 2012 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You do realize that Downtown airs on PBS and is a HUGE success, right? That is the polar opposite of cable and it does great.

      Comment by Lauren Kirsch – November 27, 2012 02:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • what’s with the Gilded thing? (I know it is referred to as the gilded era but couldn’t the title they chose be more creative and different from that of a passed on project?)

    Comment by Eli – November 27, 2012 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They better have British accents — otherwise I’m not interested!

    Comment by Kathleen – November 27, 2012 11:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, it’s set in America so…I guess you’re not interested.

      Comment by JJ – November 27, 2012 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After watching History Channel’s The Men who Built America, I wished they would do an actual show about that time period. I am so looking forward to this.

    Comment by bkwrm – November 27, 2012 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have hope because this is the same network that had ER and Julian Fellowes does magic, I mean he’s british.

    Comment by L2u9 – November 27, 2012 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NBC will hire a bunch of 26 year olds and turn it into a dumb soap opera.

    Comment by Joebb – November 27, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The same as Downton then.

      Comment by Guest – November 27, 2012 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • so this is like Boardwalk Empire meets Downton Abbey on network tv?? okay…

    Comment by cjeffery7 – November 27, 2012 12:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julian Abele was an African American architect during the Gilded Age – he worked with Horace Trumbauer, another famous architect of the time. I was excited when I read Shonda Rhimes was working on a show about this time period because I assumed she would try to work in some story lines about successful black people of the time (there was also a black hairdresser who worked in Newport, Rhode Island, who had loads of gossip about the billionaires who summered there) – so I’m sorry ABC passed on her show. But I’ve always hoped someone would write a miniseries about the Gilded Age, and though I’d hoped the writer would be an American historian with a specialty in this area, I think Julian Fellowes will do a great job. I know Downton Abbey has become a bit soapy, but I love that Fellowes gives equal time to below stairs as he does to upstairs, and he often gives us a lot of detail about this time in history. I wish this was going to be on PBS or cable, because I’m sure NBC won’t allow him to do the time period justice, but it should be entertaining and maybe Fellowes will add some characters of color based on real life figures of thetime.

    Comment by Laura – November 27, 2012 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I enjoy Downton Abbey, it’s not very good at continuity based upon the 2 seasons I’ve watched – probably because it has so few episodes and he’s trying to cram in too much. I’d check out a series about America’s Gilded Age – it’s different from DA because ‘we’ are ‘brash’ and don’t have titles.

    Comment by AngD – November 27, 2012 01:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wrong century, genius.

    Comment by Salty – November 27, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Before I give the guy too much credit, I almost forgot that he produced the recent Titanic mini-series, which was abysmal IMHO.

    Comment by AngD – November 27, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sounds like something I would be bossed with. Was really looking forward to gilded Lilly’s . But the fact that is going to be on NBC is not promising. I currently don’t watch anything on NBC right now. Was looking forward to the Frontier but they passed on that, hopefully this will get picked up.

    Comment by Patricia – November 27, 2012 01:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Reblogged this on aurelia1993 and commented:
    If Thanksgiving existed in Belgium, I’d be grateful for Julian Fellowes. (among other things, of course)

    Comment by aurelia1993 – November 27, 2012 01:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow, I hate NBC and now I’m going to have to watch something on it. Julian Fellowes is amazing and maybe not everything he produces is perfect but when he is inspired by something he is genius. Plus this will probably be the wittiest and best dialogue that NBC has ever had on a show. I’m excited

    Comment by Lauren Kirsch – November 27, 2012 02:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not getting attached to this show. I have very little trust in NBC to keep high-quality shows on the air long-term. I kinda go back and forth with Julian Fellowes too. First season of Downton: Good. Second season of Downton: Not so good. The Young Victoria: Very good. The Tourist: So bad, I’m guessing Johnny Depp still hasn’t seen it. Two Brothers: Awesome. Gosford Park: I am probably the only elitist d-bag in the world that was horribly bored by that movie.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – November 27, 2012 02:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sounds great to me! I’ll take all the period dramas I can get! :)

    Comment by Loni – November 28, 2012 07:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m interested in checking this out, loving Downton!

    Comment by EveatEden – January 7, 2013 07:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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