Fans of An American Aristocrat’s Guide to Great Estates will be thrilled to know that America’s favorite Viscountess is returning for a new country house series. But this time Julie Montagu is producing the show herself, with the crowdfunding support of viewers.
Julie is an American who became Viscountess Hinchingbrooke when she married Luke Montagu, heir to the Earl of Sandwich. She presented the first season of An American Aristocrat’s Guide to Great Estates for the Smithsonian Channel during which she visited some of the UK’s finest castles, manor houses, and stately homes.
The series was one of the channel’s highest-rated shows and was recommissioned for a second season. Unfortunately, just weeks before the start of filming, there was a change at the top of the Smithsonian Channel and the series was cancelled.
The show’s fans were devastated and Julie was determined to come up with an alternative plan. Working with her husband Luke and Victoria Page (who produced & directed the first series) Julie set up a production company to develop a new show called American Viscountess.
Luke and Julie have already established themselves as pioneering producers of country house social media and live streaming. During lockdown, they were unable to welcome visitors to Mapperton, known as Britain’s finest manor house. Instead, they developed live online tours and launched Mapperton Live, a new YouTube channel which now has over 70k subscribers (youtube.com/c/mappertonhousegardens).
American Viscountess will be released to an international audience on YouTube, with the opportunity for fans to support the production costs via the Patreon crowdfunding platform. For as little as $5 per month, Patreon members will gain early access to the shows, join live Q&As with Julie and benefit from lots of behind-the-scenes content.
Julie commented that “I know many fans were deeply disappointed when American Aristocrat was cancelled. But we are back! And the new show is a glorious, intimate, high-spirited celebration of British country houses and estates. I’ve been very lucky to get to know the owners of many of these places, and I’m delighted to be able to introduce them – and their wonderful homes – to an even larger audience via YouTube.”
Luke Montagu, producer of American Viscountess, also added “With American Viscountess, we are discovering a whole new way of making television, where fans can directly support the shows they want to see. They can also give their feedback and interact with Julie and the team, while their subscriptions help support the production costs. And without all the usual layers of executives and distribution, we can produce outstanding films for a fraction of normal budgets.”
In the first episodes of American Viscountess, Julie visits her good friends William and Marianne Cartwright-Hignett at Iford Manor. William gives Julie a tour of the world-renowned gardens, created in the early twentieth century by the celebrated designer Harold Peto. Julie then helps out with cleaning the pond and decorating the cakes before joining the family for afternoon tea.
American Viscountess is co-produced with the new art & culture platform Aonia.com and is sponsored by the country footwear brand Le Chameau. The series launches on Patreon (patreon.com/americanviscountess) on 19 September and on YouTube on 26 September 2021. Each episode will appear one week later on the American Viscountess YouTube channel (youtube.com/c/americanviscountess).
Image courtesy of American Viscountess and Aonia
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