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Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon to Star as Sisters in Downton Abbey Creator's HBO Drama The Gilded Age

Christine Baranski Cynthia Nixon The Gilded Age

HBO’s The Gilded Age is assembling quite a dazzling cast: Emmy winners Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon lead a quartet of cast additions to the upcoming drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, TVLine has learned.

Baranski — currently starring on CBS All Access’ The Good Fight — will play stubborn aristocrat Agnes van Rhijn, who managed to hook a husband just as her family’s plantation was collapsing and proudly resists change at every turn. (Kind of sounds like the new Dowager Countess, doesn’t she?) Nixon — returning to HBO after six seasons on Sex and the City — will play Agnes’ sister Ava Brook, who’s forced to rely on her sister’s charity when times get tough. Both Baranski and Nixon will be series regulars.

Also joining the cast as series regulars: Amanda Peet (Togetherness, Brockmire), who plays Bertha Russell, who’s using her husband’s business success to infiltrate the upper crust; and Morgan Spector (Homeland), who plays Bertha’s husband George Russell, a ruthless robber baron who doesn’t like to lose.

Set in 1880s America, The Gilded Age centers on young Marian Brook, an orphaned daughter of a Southern general who moves in with her aunts in New York City and finds herself thrust into high society. Fellowes will serve as writer, creator and executive producer, with his Downton Abbey collaborator Gareth Neame serving as another EP. The series, originally developed at NBC, earned a 10-episode order from HBO back in May.

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