HBO has picked up “The Gilded Age,” which initially was going to air on NBC. The 10 episode drama series, from “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, is now a co-production between HBO and Universal Television. Fellowes serves as creator, writer, and executive producer on the project, with Michael Engler directing. Engler, Fellows, and Gareth Neame serve as executive producers. In 2002, Fellowes won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for “Gosford Park.”

In the announcement, Fellowes said, “I feel very privileged to be making “The Gilded Age” with HBO and Universal Television. It has been a dream of mine for some time, as I am fascinated by this brutal and intensely glamorous period of America’s history. It will be about ambition, of course, and envy and hatred and, perhaps most of all, about love. I hope people will enjoy the series. I know I will enjoy making it.”

The logline for the series states: The American Gilded Age in 1885 was a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new money, which is being reflected again today. Against this backdrop comes young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Southern general, who moves into the home of her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City. Accompanied by the mysterious Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her stupendously rich neighbors,led by a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife struggling for acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path in this exciting new world that is on the brink of transformation into the modern age?

Neame added, “I’m thrilled that HBO and Universal Television will be bringing “The Gilded Age” to life. This is a compelling part of the American story and has remarkable parallels with the world we live in as these people set many of the wheels in motion that drive us today.”

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