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Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes developing NBC series

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is developing a period drama for US network NBC.

This marks the latest step in Fellowes’ relationship with NBC Universal; ITV drama series Downton Abbey is produced by NBCU-owned Carnival Films and distributed by NBC Universal International Television Distribution.

Fellowes, who also wrote feature film Gosford Park, will create and produce The Gilded Age, which will depict the world of millionaire titans in 1880s New York.

The series will be produced by Universal Television and will be set for next year’s development season. It was ordered by Jennifer Salke, president, NBC Entertainment, and Bela Bajaria, executive vice president, Universal Television.

“This was a vivid time with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king,” said Fellowes.

“We at the network are all so thrilled to be working with the immensely talented Julian Fellowes, who is universally admired for his critically and commercially appealing productions,” said Salke. “Having him on our team represents a major creative coup and everyone is looking forward to his first NBC project in The Gilded Age.”

“Having been thoroughly impressed by Julian’s wit, eloquence, vast historical knowledge and collaborative nature in my past development experience with him, I’m thrilled to be continuing our relationship at Universal Television,” added Bajaria. “The opportunity to work with him again was a goal of mine at Universal Television and I’m very excited about this potential new series.”

When TBI spoke to Fellowes last year he said that he was interested in developing a US series. “I am interested in the whole business of examining bourgeois angst. Present culture has been so skewed towards working class drama and most of the middle class aspirational drama is coming out of America. That’s an area of interest that I’d like to explore,” he said.