NBC taps 'Downton' creator for series on 19th century New York
BY ANNA CODUTTI
Thursday, November 29, 2012
11/29/12 at 5:58 AM
You know you're a nerd when you're prone to say "I was a fan BEFORE it was popular," and so you can call me a "Downton Abbey" nerd. I was streaming the first season of the hit show from its British network, ITV, before Masterpiece Classic made it available to American audiences.
As its popularity grew, its creator, Julian Fellowes, has become a bit of a TV-writer rock star and built quite a cachet.
Now, NBC wants some of Fellowes' fairy dust. The network released the news this week that it is tapping the "Downton Abbey" creator for a new series titled "The Gilded Age." According to NBC, it will be set in 19th-century New York and focus on "the princes of the American Renaissance."
"This was a vivid time," Fellowes said in a statement, "with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry ... a time when money was king."
Fellowes will write and produce the new show, which sounds like it could become the American version of "Downton," with soap-opera-like stories of the rich and powerful and the people they step on.
NBC hasn't had the best luck in recent years introducing new series (Remember "The Event"? How about "The Cape"? Yeah, me neither.), so we'll see if Fellowes' magic is enough to give the network a winner for a change.
The third season of "Downton Abbey" is scheduled to start in the U.S. on Jan. 6 on PBS. Fellowes will continue on the series as he begins work on "The Gilded Age" with NBC.
Original Print Headline: 'Downton' across the pond