Christine Baranaski, Cynthia Nixon & more Join The Gilded Age
After making a move from NBC to HBO, the upcoming period drama The Gilded Age has begun building its cast with Christine Baranski (The Good Fight), Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Amanda Peet (Brockmire) and Morgan Spector (Homeland), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Gilded Age, created by Downton Abbey‘s Julian Fellowes, 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. In the series, Marian Brook is the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who will embark on infiltrating the wealthy neighboring 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.
Baranski is set to star as Agnes van Rhijn, described as “a proud and stubborn aristocrat who will never accept that the world has changed and old values are being replaced by new ones” who was able to catch a husband in time as her parent’s plantation began floundering and was near penniless. Nixon has signed on to play Ada Brook, Agnes’ sister, who didn’t find a way out of poverty in time and was forced to rely on her sister’s charity.
Peet will portray Bertha Russell, a woman with a middle class background who trusted her instincts in marrying George Russell (Spector), the son of a merchant family who is also a financial genius. Bertha intends to use her money to break into a society that resists change at every turn
Fellowes, who is an Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning writer, was honored with an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special and was nominated three other times. On the film side, Fellowes won an Oscar in 2002 and was Golden Globe nominated for his screenplay of Gosford Park.
Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, which was produced by Neame’s Carnival Films, ran for six seasons and has been seen in more than 250 territories worldwide, is recognized as one of the most acclaimed and popular British drama series of all time. The series was an immediate hit in the U.S. and U.K. and won both the Emmy in 2011 for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie and the Golden Globe the following year for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. In fact, Downton Abbey is the most nominated non-U.S. show in the history of the Emmys with 69 nominations and 15 wins.
The series will be produced by Universal Television and executive produced by Fellowes and Neame.
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