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Old money battles new money in The Gilded Age, the new HBO series from the creator of Downton Abbey. Set in New York around the turn of the 20th century, the show focuses on the conflict between the established elite and a group of wealthy upstarts who threaten to upend the established social order. It premieres in January 2022. 

‘The Gilded Age’ premieres Jan. 24 

The Gilded Age premieres Monday, Jan. 24 on HBO at 9 p.m. ET. There are nine episodes in total. The show also streams on HBO Max. Julian Fellowes, who created Downton Abbey, wrote the script along with Sonja Warfield. 

Though The Gilded Age comes from the mind of Fellowes, it’s not just Downton Abbey transported to America. 

“Someone will accuse me of that anyway, so I don’t think I’ll let it hold me up much,” he said in an interview with EW. However, like Downton, the new series will not just focus on society’s upper-crust.

 “When we recreate that period, we’re as interested in the people working below the stairs as we are in the people above it,” he said. “It was an integral part of that life, and I don’t really see how you can tell those stories anymore and not define the servant characters because they were all there.”

What is ‘The Gilded Age’ about? 

Louisa Jacobsen and Denee Benton, both wearing late 19th century dresses, in front of an omnibus
‘The Gilded Age’ | Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

The Gilded Age begins in 1882, during a time of rapid economic change in America. The series follows Marian Brook who moves to New York City from rural Pennsylvania after the death of her father. She is taken in by her old-money aunts, Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. 

Along with an aspiring writer named Peggy Scott, Marian gets caught up in a social war between her aunts and their new neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon named George Russell and his ambitious wife Bertha. 

“New York is a collection of villages,” Agnes says in a trailer for the show. “The old have been in charge since before the Revolution. Until the new people invaded.” 

With the world on the brink of change, Marian will have to decide whether to adhere to established rules or forge her own path forward. 

‘The Gilded Age’ cast includes Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon 

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

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The Gilded Age has a large ensemble cast. 

The Good Wife alum Christine Baranski plays the imperious Agnes, while And Just Like That… star Cynthia Nixon plays her sister Ada. Louisa Jacobson plays Marian and Denée Benton plays Peggy. Morgan Spector plays George Russell and Carrie Coon plays Bertha Russel. 

Taissa Farmiga portrays the Russells’ daughter and Blake Ritson appears as Agnes’ son, according to Deadline. The cast also includes Simon Jones, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel, Jack Gilpin, Audra McDonald, and Nathan Lane.  

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