NBC Developing Period Drama from Downton Abbey Creator

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Julian Fellowes
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Julian Fellowes

NBC is looking to bring the next Downton Abbey to its airwaves.

The Peacock has signed Downton creator Julian Fellowes to create and produce The Gilded Age, a sweeping epic about the millionaire titans of 1880s New York, NBC announced Tuesday. Fellowes will write and produce the project, which is described as a "tale of the princes of the American Renaissance, and the vast fortunes they made — and spent — in late nineteenth century."

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"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," Fellowes said in a statement.

"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," NBC Entertaiment President Jennifer Salke said in a statement. "Having him on our team represents a major creative coup and everyone is looking forward to his first NBC project."

Added  Bela Bajaria, executive vice president of Universal Television: "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," said 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."

Is a Downton Abbey prequel in the works?

Fellowes created and executive-produces the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Downton Abbey, which was recently renewed for a fourth season. He will continue working on the show as he develops the new project at NBC.

Fellowes' other credits include the film Gosford Park, which won Fellowes a Best Original Screenplay Oscar and the recent four-hour miniseries Titanic.

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