HBO's 'The Gilded Age' Casts Cynthia Nixon, Christine Baranski & More

Meaghan Darwish
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Dominik Bindl/Getty Images; Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

HBO's upcoming drama The Gilded Age from Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes has unveiled its first round of casting.

Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Amanda Peet and Morgan Spector will star in the 1880s-set series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. No premiere date for the project has been announced at this time, but it's been in the works for some time when it was first being developed back in 2012 for NBC.

Slated for a 10-episode commitment, The Gilded Age takes place in New York during a time known for major economic change the widening gap between old and new money. Initially the project had been ordered to series in 2018 at NBC, years after it was given a green light there, but in May of 2019 the title moved to the premium cable service.

The story follows Marian Brook, an orphaned daughter of a Southern general who moves in with her rigid and conventional aunts in New York City. Accompanying Marian, the mysterious Peggy Scott — an African-American woman — masquerades as her maid.

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During her time in New York City, Marian will get caught up in the glitzy lives of her rich neighbors who are led by a ruthless railroad tycoon and his wife who vies for the acceptance of the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Will Marian follow the rules of society or pave her own path? That's what viewers will find out when The Gilded Age arrives.

Baranski and Nixon have been cast as Marian's aunts Agnes van Rhijn (Baranski) and Ada Brook (Nixon). A proud and stubborn aristocrat, Baranski's Agnes doesn't accept that the world has changed along with old values. She managed to find a husband when she was penniless on the brink of the Civil War. She has a son, Oscar, who she absolutely adores, even if the feelings aren't mutual.

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Nixon's Ada wasn't as lucky as her sister and didn't manage to find her way out of the South of her own accord, requiring Agnes's charity to do so. Although she's not a confrontational person, she's more than willing to stick up for herself and the things she believes in.

Amanda Peet will portray Bertha Russell, a woman with a middle-class upbringing that aims to marry George, the son of a merchant family that has found financial success. Bertha's goal is to make her way into the society which resists change at all costs.

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Morgan Spector will play the object of Bertha's affections as George Russell who is otherwise a robber baron of the time. Although pleasan in person and loving towards his wife and kids, George is a ruthless businessman. As he rakes in millions which are soon to become billions, he has a desire to win at everything.

Stay tuned for future casting announcements as they're made for The Gilded Age as well as a premiere date when it's released.

The Gilded Age, TBA, HBO