While fans of Downton Abbey breathlessly wait for September when the beloved series arrives in theaters for one last adventure, creator Julian Fellowes is hard at work on following his big screen success with a new TV series. He's got two in the works, actually - one in the U.K. and one stateside. The U.S. series, The Gilded Age, is a sort of but not really Downton prequel, set in New York in the 1880s, at a time when new monied heiresses (like Lady Cora) were prepped and shipped to London to marry cash-strapped aristocrats with old world peerage titles. However, while that show is still bubbling in development, Fellowes' other series, over in the U.K., is full steam ahead.
Entitled Belgravia, the series, a co-production between ITV and American cable outlet Epix, is based on the novel of the same name that Lord Fellowes wrote back in 2016. This story goes further back in time than his other properties, with the story beginning in 1815, though the bulk of the action happens 25 years later in 1840, as the nouveau riche of the industrial era find themselves entering the social circles of the aristocracy. Set in the newly chic area of London called Belgravia (which is still considered one of the most affluent neighborhoods of the city today), the story focuses on the Trenchard family. The Trenchards are both at the fateful party thrown by the Duke of Richmond in 1815 in Brussels for the Duke of Wellington the day before the battle of Waterloo, and part of the new and happening social scene of the 1840s at the dawn of the Victorian era.
The cast for Belgravia follows the same model ITV used when casting Downton Abbey back in 2010. According to Deadline, the series will be anchored by Dame Harriet Walter, who appeared on Downton as Dowager Lady Shackleton. She'll be playing Caroline, The Countess of Brockenhurst, sister of the Duchess of Richmond, who threw the ill-fated party.
Alice Eve, who last appeared in the now-canceled Netflix series Iron Fist, has been cast in the role of Trenchard daughter Susan (Sophia in the novel). Her parents, Anne and James Trenchard, are played by acting stalwarts Tamsin Greig (Episodes) and Philip Glenister (Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes). The family is part of the nouveau riche, having made a fortune in property management.
Fellowes is doing his own adaptation from novel to screenplay, with six episodes planned covering the events of the story. All six episodes will be directed by John Alexander, best known for shows like Jamestown. Though Belgravia certainly sounds like a standalone miniseries at the moment, fans should keep in mind that Downton too was originally developed as a one-and-done sort of series, but then transitioned into a multi-season serial after it became a smash hit.
Belgravia is set to begin filming later this spring. ITV has not yet revealed a release date, but some suspect it may be what goes in the original Downton slot this fall, which Victoria recently vacated last year. The series will air in America on Epix.