Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is taking his talent for period drama to New York. He has signed a deal with NBC to create a drama about the Big Apple in the 1880s. Called The Gilded Age, it will focus on the millionaires of the time – the likes of the Carnegies, the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers. Expect huge mansions, fabulous dresses and lots of longing looks. As Fellowes said when the show was announced: “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.”
No word on whether Shirley MacLaine will reprise her Downton role of Martha Levinson, but some crossover between the two shows would be fun. Perhaps even Dan Stevens’s Matthew could feature, given the strong rumour he will only appear in the first episode of Downton’s fourth series. He’s already appearing on Broadway in The Heiress opposite Jessica Chastain.
Before heading to America, he told the Daily Mail: “New York, for me, is going to be one big adventure. I will be taking the whole family out and we will be there for six months. I don’t know if I will be returning to Downton.” The Gilded Age is similar to a show made earlier in the year by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes for ABC. Her period drama was called Gilded Lilys and revolved around the opening of a luxury hotel in New York in 1895. However, after the pilot, the network didn’t pick it up.
- Oscar buzz is building about the 2013 Best Picture nominees, with Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Les Misérables and Kathryn Bigelow’s killing-of-Osama bin Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty leading the pack. Other films likely to make the top 10 list include Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis (a certainty for a Best Actor nomination); the highly praised Beasts of the Southern Wild; Ben Affleck’s Argo; and independent flick Silver Linings Playbook, which is likely to earn 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence her second Oscar nomination. There’s talk that Skyfall or The Dark Knight Rises could claim the blockbuster slot, and Keira Knightley’s Anna Karenina, although not critically lauded, could make it in for its impressive costumes, set and cinematography. Palme d’Or winner Amour is a long-shot, as foreign language films rarely receive Best Picture nominations, and then there are the wild-card contenders such as Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. All will be revealed on January 10.