'The Gilded Age' Continues to Employ Broadway for Season 3

Phylicia Rashad will wear fabulous costumes in The Gilded Age Season 3

Phylicia Rashad will join the cast of The Gilded Age Season 3


The Gilded Age is staffing up again, but this time, it's being more selective about who it's bringing on board. Fans of the series are pretty aware of the show's sprawling (and we do mean sprawling) cast. Downton Abbey had a large ensemble for a period piece drama by the time it reached Season 6; The Gilded Age's first season took that cast size and doubled it. Season 2 then took the Season 1 cast size and redoubled it to create the most extensive ensemble cast on television in 2023. Thankfully, series creator Julian Fellowes has decided that he will not treble down for Season 3, adding a relatively modest four new stars for the latest set of episodes, most of whom are very clearly coming aboard to fill out a particular storyline.

However, one particular aspect of The Gilded Age's casting has not changed, and that's where Fellowes pulls his actors from. It's a running joke among the fandom that The Gilded Age exists as an employment program for the Boardway set in New York to ensure they have enough money to live on for the year in case they didn't make enough trending the boards. That was partly because the first season was filmed during the 2020 pandemic lockdown when Broadway was shuttered, and the entire White Way was out of work. Season 2's redoubling of the cast made it all the funnier, as now the actors were back to work and shuttling back and forth from stage to screen.

Season 3's cast additions are again all longtime Broadway vets, many of whom have theater credits as long as Manhattan Island, while some only have a handful of TV ones. But the headliner is known for her TV and stage work, with the great Phylicia Rashad (Diarra from Detroit) stepping into the 1890s to join the New York Black Bourgeois. She's be joined by Broadway vets Brian Stokes Mitchell (Elementary), Jordan Donica (Charmed), and Victoria Clark (Pose).

Rashad, Stokes Mitchell, and Donica are all Black actors, and their characters are all interconnected as part of the Black Bourgeois society that Denée Benton's character Peggy Scott has thus far been the avatar. However, Their family is not in Brooklyn, but up in Newport, among the elitest of the elites. Rashad plays Mrs. Elizabeth Kirkland, a woman from a prominent Newport family, who has been a part of society since the American Revolution. Her character is described as having "high standards and is unwilling to compromise the standards and expectations of her elite and exclusive social group – particularly when it comes to her son." Stokes Mitchell plays her husband, Frederick Kirkland, a leader in the Newport community and the pastor of a prominent Black church.

Jordan Donica is the Kirkland son, William, a kind and handsome doctor, who was inspired to get into medicine by Peggy's father, Arthur Scott (John Douglas Thompson), and his pharmacy. He is described as not being as "narrow-minded as the older members of his elite social circle." I think we have a new romance for Peggy in the offing, one that a certain mama isn't going to be thrilled about. As for Victoria Clark, she plays Joan Carlton, "a kind and genial woman from the old money side of New York high society. Sincere and supportive of her son, she is surprised to find herself in a complicated and insulting situation." Since we do not as yet have a male character with that last name, time will tell what that scandal is.

Here's the Season 3 logline:

The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic and social change, when huge fortunes were made and lost overnight. With the old guard officially deposed, New York society finds itself turned upside down, and all must get their house in order. But even those at the helm of this new era may find that change comes at a cost. 

The rest of the cast of The Gilded Age is expected to return. That includes (deep breath everybody!) Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Louisa Jacobson, Blake Ritson, Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Taissa Farmiga, Harry Richardson, Denée Benton, Simon Jones, Jack Gilpin, Kelli O'Hara, Donna Murphy, Debra Monk, Kristine Nielsen, Taylor Richardson, Ben Ahlers, Kelley Curran, Douglas Sills, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Michael Cerveris, Erin Wilhelmi, Patrick Page, Sullivan Jones, Christopher Denham, Rebecca Haden, Dakin Mathews, Michael Braugher, Ben Lamb, Laura Benanti, David Furr, Matilda Lawler, and Nicole Brydon Bloom.

Fellowes is the creator and writer of The Gilded Age, with Salli Richardson-Whitfield as co-writer. Directors David Crockett and Michael Engler split helming duties with Erica Dunbar as the historical consultant. All executive produce, along with Sonja Warfield, Gareth Neame, and Bob Greenblatt

The Gilded Age is filming Season 3 now. It is expected to arrive on HBO and Max at the end of 2024 or early 2025.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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