Christine Baranski (“The Good Fight”), Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”), Amanda Peet (“Brockmire’), and Morgan Spector (“Pearson”) have all been cast as series regulars in “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes’ long-gestating drama series “The Gilded Age” for HBO.
Set in 1882, the story follows 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.
Baranski will star as Agnes van Rhijn, a proud and stubborn aristocrat who will never accept that the world has changed. Agnes has a son named Oscar, whom she worships, but her worship is not returned.
Nixon will play Ada Brook, Agnes’ sister and a victim of the collapse of the old south who was forced back on her sister’s charity. She is not naturally confrontational but is capable of standing up for what she believes.
Peet and Spector will play married couple Bertha and George Russell. He is a ruthless businessman and classic robber baron, she is a middle-class born woman who married well and is determined to use her money and position to break into a society that resists change at every turn.
The project has received a ten-episode production commitment. Fellowes will serve as writer and executive producer with Michael Engler set to direct and executive produce.