By Rick Gables
From creator Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), the nine-episode drama series The Gilded Age debuts Monday, Jan. 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. The series stars an ensemble cast of Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson, Simon Jones, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel, Jack Gilpin, with Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski. The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of great conflict between the old ways and brand new systems, and of huge fortunes made and lost. Against the backdrop of this transformation, HBO’s new series begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. Accompanied by Peggy Scott, an aspiring writer seeking a fresh start, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George and Bertha Russell. Exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society or forge her own path?
EPIX will premiere season three of Britannia on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This action-packed drama serves thrills and humor in equal measure. The new season sees radical transformation in Cait’s (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) journey as the Chosen One with a decision that will tie her to the future of her war-torn people and their ravaged land. Aulas (David Morrissey) will come under pressure from a new and dark force. The series also stars Sophie Okonedo, Annabel Scholey and Nikolaj Lie Kaas.
The two-part Animals with Cameras, a Nature Miniseries premieres on PBS Wednesday, Jan. 19 and 26, at 8 p.m. ET (check your local listings). The animals become the cinematographers allowing us to go where no human cameraman can. Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan and a team of pioneering animal scientists join forces to explore stories of animal lives “told” by the animals themselves. The cameras are custom-built to fit on the animals unobtrusively and to be easily removed at a later point. In episode one, “Oceans,” witness a fascinating underwater world. In episode two, “Australia,” see firsthand the lives of some of the country’s most iconic wildlife.