Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is currently developing an American period drama for NBC, focused on New York City in the 19th century. Tentatively known as The Gilded Age, it would appear that the drama is set to give Manhattan society in the 1880s the American version of the Downton treatment.
Per the press release, the series is described as “an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance, and the vast fortunes they made—and spent—in late nineteenth-century New York.” The Gilded Age will doubtless present the many professional challenges and personal tribulations of America’s first millionaires who helped shaped the city and pioneered innovations in business, transportation and industry.
"This was a vivid time," Fellowes said,"with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king." Per the Daily Mail online (which, as always take with a grain of salt), The Gilded Age could screen as early as Fall 2013. The Mail further speculates that Fellowes’ new drama could include fictionalized versions of famous figures like J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie or Cornelius Vanderbilt.
The concept sounds intriguing – but is it something that Americans will watch?