‘The Gilded Age’: HBO Reveals Premiere Date, First Look at New Series from ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator

HBO has revealed a premiere date and first look at its new series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. The Gilded Age will arrive in January 2022. Carrie Coon, Christine Baranski, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson, and Jake Gilpin are all part of its large ensemble cast. 

‘The Gilded Age’ premieres in January 2022 on HBO

Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski standing in a ballroom in 'The Gilded Age'
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski in ‘The Gilded Age’ | Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

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The Gilded Age premieres Monday, Jan. 24 on HBO. Episodes will also be available to stream on HBO Max. Fellowes co-wrote the show’s nine episodes, along with Sonja Warfield.  

The Gilded Age begins in 1882, when a young woman named Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson) moves from her home in rural Pennsylvania to live in New York City with her aunts Ages van Rhihn (Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon). Marian gets caught up in a social war between her old money relatives and their fabulously wealthy neighbors, a railroad tycoon (Morgan Spector) and his striving wife (Coon). 

“I’ve never done a period piece on film,” Baranski told The New Yorker in an interview earlier this year. “I always wanted to. I always wanted to be in a Merchant Ivory film, or be like my great idol Maggie Smith.” 

The Good Fight actor promised that her The Gilded Age character was “very funny, very tart. I’m just this elegant old curmudgeon.”

Audra McDonald reveals if ‘The Gilded Age’ will overlap with ‘Downton Abbey’

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The Gilded Age come from the mind of the man who created Downton Abbey. But it’s set in a different world. In an interview with Collider, Audra McDonald, who will play a character named Dorothy Scott, explained that the two shows don’t really exist in the same universe. 

“It takes place at the very end of the 19th century going into the 20th century,” she said, “a little bit before” the time that Downton Abbey was set. “It’s an era [where] a lot went down. We don’t know our history like we should. Julian Fellows has really done his research and it’s an incredible world to step into.” 

‘The Gilded Age’ will touch on a less-known part of Black history 

Louisa Jacobson and Denée Benton standing in front of an omnibus in 'The Gilded Age'
Louisa Jacobson and Denée Benton in ‘The Gilded Age’ | Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

Tony winner McDonald has “always wanted to be part of a costume drama,” she told Collider. She went on to explain that she was particularly excited to be part of The Gilded Age because it explores lesser-known aspects of Black history. 

“The Black community in New York during that time was a very specific society that has not really been portrayed on film yet,” she said. “And so I’m so excited that we’re going to get a chance to see that and to see their world, our world, and what it was during that time. Because so many people just think, you know, Black people were slaves and then they were servants and then they were fighting for their rights and now here they are.”    

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