The Gilded Age (TV series)

Last updated

The Gilded Age
Genre Period drama
Created by
Written by
  • Julian Fellowes
Directed by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
Production companies
Original network HBO
External links

The Gilded Age is an upcoming historical drama television series developed by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes for HBO that is set in America during the Gilded Age, the boom years of 1880s New York City. Originally announced in 2018 for NBC, it was later announced in May 2019 that the show was moved to HBO. [1]







NBC originally announced that the show would consist of ten episodes and premiere in 2019. [6] [7] Following the move to HBO, the series was expected to begin filming in March 2020, [8] [9] before the COVID-19 pandemic delayed production. Filming resumed in 2021. HBO has reportedly committed to 10 episodes. [9]


In September 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported Julian Fellowes as saying that he was working on a spin-off prequel of Downton Abbey that revolves around Lord Grantham and Cora's romance and eventual marriage as the Earl and Countess of Grantham. Initially conceived as a book, it was then planned for pick-up by ITV. [10]

Production and writing for The Gilded Age was updated in January 2016. Asked whether he'd written the script yet, Fellowes said, 'No I haven't, no. I'm doing that this year', before adding: 'And then hopefully shooting at the end of the year.'" [11]

On June 4, 2016, Fellowes was asked by The Los Angeles Times, "Where does The Gilded Age stand?" Fellowes replied, "It stands really with me up to my neck in research, and I’m clearing the decks, so that when I start Gilded Age, I’m only doing Gilded Age. These people were extraordinary. You can see why they frightened the old guard, because they saw no boundaries. They wanted to build a palace, they built a palace. They wanted to buy a yacht, they bought a yacht. And the old guard in New York weren’t like that at all, and suddenly this whirlwind of couture descended on their heads. They redesigned being rich. They created a rich culture that we still have—people who are rich are rich in a way that was established in America in the 1880s, ’90s, 1900s. It was different from Europe. Something like Newport would never have happened in any other country, where you have huge palaces, and then about 20 yards away, another huge palace, and 20 yards beyond that another huge palace. In England right up to the 1930s, when people made good money, they would buy an estate of 5,000 acres and they’d have to look after Nanny. The Americans of the 1880s and ’90s didn’t want too much of that." [12]

The final confirmation the show would be produced was announced by NBC in January 2018. [6] About the show, Fellowes stated: "To write The Gilded Age is the fulfillment of a personal dream, I have been fascinated by this period of American history for many years and now NBC has given me the chance to bring it to a modern audience. I could not be more excited and thrilled. The truth is, America is a wonderful country with a rich and varied history, and nothing could give me more pleasure than be the person to bring that compelling history to the screen." [13]

In May 2019, the series moved from NBC to HBO, with a straight to series order. [14]


In September 2019, the production announced an initial cast consisting of Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Amanda Peet and Morgan Spector. [15]

In November 2019, it was announced that Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson and Simon Jones would be joining the show. [16] In January 2020, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel and Jack Gilpin were cast as series regulars, with Jeanne Tripplehorn cast in a recurring role. [17] [18] In April Carrie Coon was cast as Bertha Russell to replace Peet because of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. [19]

In January 2021, Nathan Lane joined the cast in a recurring role. [20]


Filming of the series began in Newport, Rhode Island in February 2021, at the mansions Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, and The Breakers. [21] A casting call for Rhode Islanders to work as extras on the series was made in December 2020 prior to the production setting up in the city. [22]

In April 2021, filming continued at The Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, NY. In May 2021, filming continued in Troy, NY in its Central Troy Historic District where multiple city blocks were transformed to resemble a Victorian era street. [23]


On May 21, 2021, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada filed a charge for unfair labor practices against HBO. The charges included "[coercion] and [interference] with musicians' protected rights to request that their employers recognize the American Federation of the United States and Canada (AFM) as their sole and exclusive bargaining representative, by promising a grant of benefits to the musicians in exchange for them agreeing not to request union recognition, by discharging the musicians for requesting that their employers recognize the AFM as their sole and exclusive bargaining representative, and by conditioning the musicians' re-employment on their agreement to work under a separate union's jurisdiction." [24] [25]

On May 23, 2021, HBO reversed its stance and agreed to the collective bargaining requests made by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. HBO issued a statement regarding this resolution, stating that "after careful consideration of our valued relationships with our union partners and the community of musicians and performers, we have reached an agreement with the American Federation of Musicians on The Gilded Age production to cover their members on an AFM basis." [26]

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