Seven years ago, Julian Fellowes brought his acclaimed historical drama Downton Abbey to a successful conclusion. On January 24, Fellowes will begin a new era on HBO with the series premiere of his latest period piece, The Gilded Age. And unlike Downton Abbey, this new series will be set in America during a rarely explored period in its history: The 1880s.
In time for the series premiere, HBO has released a synopsis for The Gilded Age that sheds light on the show’s premise as well as its major players.
“The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of great conflict between the old ways and brand new systems, and of huge fortunes made and lost. Against the backdrop of this transformation, HBO’s The Gilded Age begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson in her television debut) moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn (The Good Fight‘s Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (And Just Like That‘s Cynthia Nixon).”
“Accompanied by Peggy Scott (Broadway actress Denée Benton), an aspiring writer seeking a fresh start, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George (The Plot Against America‘s Morgan Spector) and Bertha Russell (Ghostbusters: Afterlife‘s Carrie Coon). Exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path?”
The series will also feature Taissa Farmiga as Gladys Russell, Blake Ritson as Oscar van Rhijn, Simon Jones as Bannister, Harry Richardson as Larry Russell, Thomas Cocquerel as Tom Raikes, and Jack Gilpin as Church.
The Gilded Age premieres January 24 on HBO. The first season consists of nine episodes and will conclude on March 21.