Downton Abbey prequel will have a movie-length debut

Justin Harp
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

Downton Abbey fans are no doubt excited about the recent announcement that a movie is officially in the works, but there's another companion project that's going to be hitting screens in the near future too.

Series creator Julian Fellowes has been tinkering for more than six years on an NBC series called The Gilded Age, which is set in 1880s New York City and could eventually introduce a younger version of Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess.

NBC officially ordered a ten-episode first season in January and has been working with Fellowes on scripts ever since. Eight months later, The Gilded Age is finally nearing its production start date.

Photo credit: ITV

Via The Hollywood Reporter, Fellowes has attached Downton Abbey colleague Michael Engler as executive producer and director of The Gilded Age's movie-length, two-hour premiere episode.

Engler directed the Downton finale, and has also worked on acclaimed dramas Sex and the City, The Affair, Nashville, Parenthood and Six Feet Under, to name only a handful.

Production is currently slated to begin on The Gilded Age in spring 2019, likely meaning it won't actually air at least until the autumn of next year.

Here's the show's official synopsis: "The Gilded Age in 1880s New York City was a period of immense social upheaval, of huge fortunes made and lost, and of palaces that spanned the length of Fifth Avenue.

Photo credit: ITV

"In the series, Marian Brook is the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who will embark on infiltrating the wealthy neighbouring family dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell, his rakish and available son Larry, and his ambitious wife Bertha, whose 'new money' is a barrier to acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set.

"Marian is about to experience a whole new world springing up right outside her front door."

No UK broadcaster has picked up The Gilded Age yet.

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