'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes to Write and Produce 'The Gilded Age' for NBC

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

November 27th, 2012

via press release:

NBC AND UNIVERSAL TELEVISION ENTER DEAL WITH OSCAR, EMMY AND GOLDEN GLOBE-WINNING WRITER-PRODUCER JULIAN FELLOWES (‘DOWNTON ABBEY’) TO CREATE AND PRODUCE HIS NEXT DRAMATIC SERIES

 

 

Fellowes to Write and Produce “The Gilded Age,” a Sweeping Epic in the Style of “Downton Abbey,” Depicting the World of the Millionaire Titans of 1880s New York

 

 

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 27, 2012 – NBC and Universal Television have entered into a deal with Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning writer-producer Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey,” “Gosford Park”) to create and produce his next dramatic television series, it was jointly announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment, and Bela Bajaria, Executive Vice President, Universal Television.

 

Fellowes, creator of "Downton Abbey," will write and produce “The Gilded Age,” an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance, and the vast fortunes they made -- and spent -- in late nineteenth-century New York. "This was a vivid time," says Fellowes, "with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king."

 

“We at the network are all so thrilled to be working with the immensely talented Julian Fellowes, who is universally admired for his critically and commercially appealing productions,” said Salke. “Having him on our team represents a major creative coup and everyone is looking forward to his first NBC project in ‘The Gilded Age.’”

 

“Having been thoroughly impressed by Julian’s wit, eloquence, vast historical knowledge and collaborative nature in my past development experience with him, I’m thrilled to be continuing our relationship at Universal Television,” said Bajaria. “The opportunity to work with him again was a goal of mine at Universal Television and I’m very excited about this potential new series.”

 

Fellowes is the creator, writer and executive producer of “Downton Abbey,” the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning television program that now continues in its third season and was recently renewed for a fourth. Fellowes will continue in those roles as he begins work on his new production deal with Universal Television.

 

Fellowes won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film “Gosford Park.” His screenplay credits include the films “Vanity Fair,” “The Young Victoria,” and “The Tourist.” He made his directorial debut with “Separate Lies” for which he also wrote the screenplay. He also wrote and directed the independent film “From Time to Time” and the four-hour mini-series “Titanic.” In addition, Fellowes wrote the “book” for the Tony-nominated stage production of “Mary Poppins,” now running off-Broadway. Fellowes most recently wrote the script for a new production of “Romeo & Juliet” directed by Carlo Carlei.

 

Fellowes is represented by UTA, Independent Talent and attorney George Davis.

 

 

 

 
  • DryedMangoez

    Interesting. I’d love to see a real period drama on broadcast. Don’t know how well it would do, but Downton Abbey really found a mainstream audience which is cool. Smart for NBCU to keep Julian Fellowes in the family.

  • Samu

    This will be interesting.

  • Joseph

    If properly promoted, put into a good time slot and given time to build an audience, “Gilded Age” could become a hit.

    Don’t forget that two of the most popular network TV shows of the 1980’s, “Hill Street Blues” and “Cheers” weren’t that popular when they initially premiered. But the network (in both of these cases, NBC) was patient and let those two shows stay on the air and allowed them to build an audience. By their respective second seasons, both had become popular, and would eventually become major hits in terms of straight popularity.

  • TVDude

    NBC has a lot of interesting projects in development, in my opinion. These will all make predicting next season’s schedule all the more fun. Especially since they still have a lot of stuff left to air this season.

  • S.

    NBC sure wanted a period piece with the word “gilded” in the title. Then ended up passing on Shonda Rhimes’ Gilded Lilys to pick The Gilded Age.

    Wise move, the description of Gilded Lilys made it look like a rip-off of Duchess of Duke Street, as the description of this one sounds way more interesting. Besides, Fellows can write a plot. Shonda can do snappy dialog but plot she can’t. Her idea of drama is killing the parent of a regular character for sweeps. When she runs out of parents she kills a regular character.

  • Justin121

    Isn’t this a rip-off of last year’s ABC – Shonda Rhimes project Gilded Lilys?

  • THE OLD MAN

    About time we’re getting something worthwhile on Network

  • Nate

    Great News! Period peices work so well on network tv. Just look at Vegas its 18-49 demographic is HUGE!..Cant wait

  • American

    This will be interesting. Haven’t the networks learned period pieces flop? Pan Am, Playboy Club, and now Vegas…probably the only successful period piece is Downton Abbey.

  • Don

    Wonder if it’ll be like The Men Who Built America series that aired on history? JP Morgan certainly would be in NYC during this time, don’t know about the others such as Ford or Rockefeller.

  • Tom

    I fear that this might be exactly the kind of project that would fare extremely well anywhere but on a network. I can’t predict what the program’s target demo might be. However, if it’s anything like Downton Abbey, I suspect that it might skew old. IMHO, the networks aren’t exactly noted for high brow drama. That went out with the 50’s. So, unless Mr. Fellowes is planning to dumb down his efforts considerably, this could be a short lived project.

  • OMG

    Bill or Robert,

    Is US the only country that measures 18-49 for advertisers?

    It seems that only the US ratings model work that way. I don’t even see demographic breakdowns on entertainment channels anywhere for other countries like UK or Australia, where they simply gave the total viewership number. No demographics whatsoever. Occasionally they will give shares, as in percentage of population watching.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Is US the only country that measures 18-49 for advertisers?

    It seems that only the US ratings model work that way. I don’t even see demographic breakdowns on entertainment channels anywhere for other countries like UK or Australia, where they simply gave the total viewership number. No demographics whatsoever. Occasionally they will give shares, as in percentage of population watching.”

    Don’t know. Don’t care.

    Although I will say this, when we started this site 5 years ago, if you only read US general interest media (as opposed to entertainment/TV trade media) you could very easily think that the US TV industry was dependent only on total viewership as well, so it could well be information induced observation bias.

  • City Kitty

    Anything is better than Revolution, the absolute worst acting on the planet all wrapped up and presented in one hour increments by NBC.

  • groove365

    This show will probably be awesome and die a sad lonely death in one of NBC’s many bad timeslots.

    Kilwillie you deserve better than what you’ll get from NBC.

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