Farewell, DOWNTON

Downton Abbey Season SixFans are mourning the end of Downton Abbey this Sunday, March 6. The series has encouraged many to look into the history of the time and has made best sellers of tie-ins, including the latest,  Downton Abbey – A Celebration: The Official Companion to All Six Seasons by Jessica Fellowes, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press. 11/10/15) as well as a book about one of the series’ inspirations, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon, (PRH/Broadway).

Solace may be found in news that those associated with Downton will live on in other shows.

Showrunner Julian Fellowes follows up with an adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne starring Ian McShane in the title role, Alison Brie and Tom Hollander, along with Cressida Bonas making her TV debut (Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend, she brings an added element of media excitement). It begins in the U.K. this Sunday, but there is no news on when it will appear in the U.S.

Fellowes is also working an NBC series The Gilded Age, switching locales to New York in the late 19th century. Set to air later this year, Fellowes tells Parade magazine that he was attracted to the time and place, because, “you find this extraordinary renaissance period of artistic patronage and moneymaking, and a sort of development of a European aristocratic way of life, but in an American style … The Old World was dying, and America was just getting ready to fly!”

belgraviaHe will also publish a serialized novel Belgravia, beginning in April. According to Deadline, it is “Modeled along the lines of Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers” and will be delivered weekly in text and audio versions. A hardcover of the entire series, as well as an audio, is set for July.

Favorite actors from the series also have new projects on their agendas. The New York Post offers a rundown, which includes the following;

Hugh Bonneville (Lord Robert Crawley) joins Gillian Anderson in the film The Viceroy’s House where he will play Lord Mountbatten (with Anderson as Lady Mountbatten).

Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) changes her goody two shoes and follows the footsteps of a serial killer. She will star in the ITV production Dark Angel, a miniseries about Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton,  playing the lead.  It will air on PBS Masterpiece some time this year..

Penelope Wilton (Isabel Crawley) got nabbed by Steven Spielberg for his adaption of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. She will co-star with Rebecca Hall and Bill Hader this July. As the New York Post puts it, “If the first director who hires you after Downton is Steven Spielberg, you can rest on your laurels.”

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