Julian Fellowes’ new show won’t be Downton Abbey prequel

Julian Fellowes’ new show won’t be Downton Abbey prequel

Julian Fellowes says his new show isn’t a ‘Downton Abbey’ spin-off.
The creator behind the hugely popular ITV period drama is working on upcoming project ‘The Gilded Age’ – which is set to start filming next year – and in the past there were rumours it would be a prequel focused on Lord Robert Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his rich American wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern).
However, he has now told RadioTimes.com: "No. That came out of a newspaper, not my mouth.
"And in fact it’s about a period much earlier than Downton, 1880s New York, and its various different types, and things that were going on there."
Although Julian, 70, has been quiet about the show in recent years, it was confirmed in May it had found a new home on HBO after moving from the NBC network.
He explained: "It’s not completely HBO picking it up, so much as our producer Bob Greenblatt moved to HBO.
"So it’s a slightly different thing. But it is now in pre-production and we will make it next year."
The screenwriter is hopeful a UK broadcaster will get on board for the series, which will follow a "young orphaned" girl a she’s faced with a difficult decision.
The HBO synopsis reads: "It’s 1885, and the Gilded Age is in full swing when Marian Brook, a young orphaned daughter of a Southern general, moves in with her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City.
"With the help of Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her rich neighbours as she struggles to decide between adhering to the rules or forging her own path in this exciting new world."