That Downton Abbey Magic is Coming to NBC

Resurgent NBC–which, courtesy of football, The Voice, and sci-fi series Revolution, has reversed years of bad fortune in a single season–is looking to get into the Julian Fellowes business. The creator of PBS’s Downton Abbey is to write The Gilded Age, a soap opera of wealth and class in Edith Wharton-era New York (across the sea and slightly earlier than the Downton manor house, but presumably bringing similar themes into play). This isn’t the first time NBC’s borrowed the playbook from smaller channels in order to be in step with the zeitgeist; last season, NBC used the swaggering 1960s aesthetic of Mad Men on its slightly dumber series The Playboy Club, which didn’t last long. But no one from Mad Men was actually involved in that show’s creation; Mr. Fellowes will join a small club of people writing concurrent series on multiple networks (including Ryan Murphy, whose The New Normal airs on NBC thanks in large part to the success of his Glee on Fox).