Monday, April 22, 2024

HBO’s “The Gilded Age” Renewed for Season 3 As Ratings Boomed with Most Recent Episode Season Finale


“The Gilded Age” is not over.

After wrapping Season 2 with what seemed like pretty final finale, the HBO soap set in New York circa 1882 has been renewed.

This means that the saga of the nouveau riche Russells and their friends will continue among horse drawn carriages and nasty social fights.

The series stars Morgan Spector and Carrie Coon as the new money Russells living across the street, on Fifth Avenue, from the haughty Agnes van RIjn– Christine Baranski, her sister Ada (Cynthia Nixon) and niece (Louisa Jacobson aka Streep). The rest of the cast is massive and also includes a huge Broadway posse with Nathan Lane, Kelli O’Hara, Donna Murphy, Denee Benton, Audra McDonald, and so on.

Laura Benanti appeared this season all too briefly, and I hope she’s written into season 3. It seemed like her character and storyline were dropped quickly, clearing the way for Jacobson’s heroine, Marian Brook, to marry the Russells’ son, Larry (Harry Richardson). Now the two families who look askance at each other are connected in a new way.

Some of the “The Gilded Age” has echoes of creator Julian Fellowes’ “Downton Abbey,” the the latter show takes place 30 years later. They are not actually connected. But whole thing has a very “Upstairs, Downstairs” feel except with some halting American accents.

“The Gilded Age” improved its ratings every week over this 10 episode season. The finale on December 17th was up 17.5% percent from the penultimate episode and scored 686,000 total viewers. The potential is there for Season 3 to be the breakout and go much higher.

Meantime, the lavish set actually exists — at least the exteriors. All of old New York is locked up on Long Island, where the carefully crafted facades are waiting to rev up again.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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