'Downton Abbey' inspired series set for Lincoln - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

'Downton Abbey' inspired series set for Lincoln

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By: Hannah Paczkowski

For nearly 30 years, Nora Houtsma has called the Rogers House Bed and Breakfast at 22nd and B, home.

With guests from all over the world coming and going, she has plenty of stories.

"That's the best part of the Inn really, are the people that come to stay here because everyone has such an amazing story," she said.

One guest decided to turn her stories into a television series, along with everything that happens within and beyond its doors.

"At this bed and breakfast, Nora who owns the house has all the student innkeepers living in the basement," Creator Alan Sands said.

That's a concept used in England's TV series, "Downton Abbey".

As a fan, Sands, who is from Lincoln, decided to mold the "upstairs/downstairs" concept by connecting the guests, the zany neighbors, and the lives of the students living downstairs.

Like real-life college innkeeper, Sophie Johnson, who will play herself in the series.

"It's pretty exciting, I never expected any of this would ever happen, so it's crazy," she said.

Many of the staff will be playing minor roles of themselves, except the main character, Nora, who will be played by another actress.

For the real Nora, seeing her character come to life will be just as suspenseful as the series itself.

"It's interesting because there's enough of a difference that I don't feel like he's really using exactly what happened so it feels a little bit different, but it's still really intriguing," Nora said.

 The project is in the early stages. Sands hopes PBS, Hallmark or AMC will pick it up, but for now, they're just focusing on a five-minute trailer.

For information on the project, go to www.kickstarter.com and search "The Rogers House Project".

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