Q. Are you approaching your NBC drama, “The Gilded Age,” differently for an American audience?
A. I’m going to do the pilot this year. I’ve got a list of potential advisers, and I am a big, big fan of Edith Wharton and Henry James and
that period of history after the Civil War — the Vanderbilts and the
Whitneys and all of those people. As for adapting what I write for
American audiences, American audiences have enjoyed “Downton.” I try and
make TV shows that I’m going to want to watch. And when I’m reading it,
I’m saying to myself: “Is this boring? Are you still enjoying this
scene? Shouldn’t it be over by now?” [laughs] I can’t imagine my
departing from that principle very far.
Q. Are you starting to think about how “Downton Abbey” might end?
A. It’s not really my decision. I don’t own “Downton Abbey” now. NBC
Universal [which owns Carnival Films] owns “Downton Abbey.” So I could
walk away, but I wouldn’t walk away. It’s too much my baby. It won’t go
on forever — I’m not a believer in that. But I can’t immediately now
tell you where the end will be.
Q. So the idea of continuing with these characters into post-World War II Britain … ?
me, that would be a different series. Maybe people would say, “Oh my
God, that’s baby George, grown up!” But I don’t think it would be
continuous, with Michelle Dockery with her hair covered with talcum