American fans of Julian Fellowes' "Downton Abbey" have had to wait months past their British counterparts for the show to cross the Atlantic and air on PBS — the third season will debut here on January 6, and ITV has already ordered a fourth — but that won't be an issue for Fellowes' next series, a 19th century drama called "The Gilded Age" that he'll write and produce for NBC. It's currently just in development, but with a significant penalty if a pilot isn't ordered.

NBC describes "The Gilded Age" as "an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance and the vast fortunes they made — and spent — in late nineteenth century New York."

"This was a vivid time," Fellowes said in a statement, "with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king."

In addition to creating the Emmy-winning "Downton," Fellowes is also an Oscar-winning screenwriter for "Gosford Park," and other screenplay credits include "Vanity Fair," "The Young Victoria" and "The Tourist." 

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at