Julian Fellowes drama project The Gilded Age has shifted from NBC to HBO. Fellowes created the series and Gareth Neame executive produces; both worked on PBS smash Downtown Abbey.
The show looks at the American Gilded Age of 1885, when giant fortunes were won lost.
HBO and Universal Television are co-producing The Gilded Age. Michael Engler is an executive producer too. HBO is on board for ten episodes.
"Given the opulent scope and scale of this richly textured character drama, HBO is the perfect home for The Gilded Age," says Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. "We're all huge fans of Julian and I know I speak for Bob Greenblatt -- who was involved in the development of this series while at Universal Television -- when I say we're thrilled to bring his undeniable genius to our viewers."
The series centers on Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Southern general, who moves into the home of her conventional aunts in New York City. Accompanied by the mysterious Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her fabulously wealthy neighbors, led by a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife struggling for acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path in this exciting new world that is on the brink of transformation into the modern age?
"I feel very privileged to be making The Gilded Age with HBO and Universal Television,” said Fellowes. “It has been a dream of mine for some time, as I am fascinated by this brutal and intensely glamorous period of America's history. It will be about ambition, of course, and envy and hatred and, perhaps most of all, about love. I hope people will enjoy the series. I know I will enjoy making it."
Fellowes created Downton Abbey. Neame, who executive produced Downton Abbey, is producing the Downton film. Engler has worked on both the Downton TV series and the film.