Julian Fellowes On 'Downton Abbey' And 'The Gilded Age'

With the series finale of Downton Abbey winding down, fans are eager to check out show creator Julian Fellowes' next chapter in the world of big, beautiful costume dramas. Those who have followed Fellowes from way back know him as Kilwillie from Monarch of the Glen, but he has come a long way since leaving Scotland. His next step? The Gilded Age, which will examine the lush life on the other side of the pond.

According to the Inquisitr, Downton Abbey only has one more episode to air in the U.K., on Christmas, which is supposed to wrap up the whole series. The last season will air in the United States beginning next month. But the feeling from fans on the last season of Downton Abbey is one of dissatisfaction. The Crawley family still has quite a few loose ends to tie up before fans will stand down and feel that they've witnessed a finale.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Julian Fellowes is ready to move on and tell a truly American story or refinement and upper-mobility.

"We don't quite understand what the rules are anymore," Julian Fellowes explained. "The class imperatives of behavior have diminished for everyone, no matter who they are."

Lord Fellowes new opus, The Gilded Age, will air on NBC beginning in 2017.

"As a child, Lord Fellowes—who grew up in East Sussex, the son of a diplomat—enjoyed talking to his older relatives about what life was like at the turn of the century. "I was able to talk one-to-one with people who had lived almost on a different planet than the one we were living on," he says. "Now I kick myself that I didn't have a recorder." That spurred an interest in the "real past" (for instance, what it was like waking up and having breakfast in 1906), as opposed to the events you find in history books."

Fellowes is deep in research for The Gilded Age but says he doesn't yet have a script.

"It's too early to say much about the show as I haven't started writing it," he said. "I am doing the research now, but that's all."

Part of Julian Fellowes' research, according to PBS, is in doing the series Great Houses and seeing how families of substance lived and live.

"This two-part series follows MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes on his quest to discover the real stories of Britain's great houses. As he uncovers personal stories hidden behind the walls, he realizes these aren't just homes for posh people — they hold history."

Fellowes enjoys telling the world stories of what stands behind the bricks and mortar.

"I'm on the hunt for the real Lord Granthams, the real Lady Marys, the real Bates and the real Annas; there are stories for all of us in houses like these!"
Do you think Julian Fellowes will ever be able to top Downton Abbey?

[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]