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Downton Abbey’s Fellowes eyes indie and contemporary drama

Downtown Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is eying the launch of his own independent production company and has also told TBIvision that he would like to produce a contemporary TV drama.

Fellowes, who created the hit period drama Downtown Abbey, which is produced by Carnival Films and also wrote the screenplay for Robert Altman-directed feature Gosford Park, has just completed work on ITV’s four part mini-series Titantic.

Fellowes told TBIvision that he was interested in setting up his own production company, an idea he first toyed with after directing and writing Separate Lies, a British drama starring Tom Wilkinson.

“What all of us actors, writers and directors are striving for is a measure of artistic control,” he said.

As well as working on Titanic, which is produced and distributed by ITV Studios and has been sold to broadcasters including ABC in the US, Canada’s Global Television and Australia’s Seven Network, he adapted the screenplay for Neil LaBute-directed Agatha Christie film The Crooked House, and has written a second season of Downton Abbey, which starts later this year.

He is also keen to produce a contemporary television series based around the concept of “bourgeois angst”. “Present culture has been so skewed towards working class drama,” he says. “I like the idea of doing contemporary drama on TV because you have the space to explore so the idea of a series set in the modern day is interesting.”