Entourage star Jeremy Piven – perhaps best known for his exhortation that we all just “Hug it out” – will be given the chance to show off his more serious side in upcoming period drama Mr. Selfridge. Piven will play the titular character, Harry Gordon Selfridge, the visionary American entrepreneur who transformed Oxford Street in London with the splashy department store that still bears his name.
Created by the Emmy Award-winning Andrew Davies (who also did Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House), the ten-part series will focus on the life of the “pioneering and reckless” shipping magnate who turned the act of shopping into an pleasurable and social activity for Edwardian-era women. The series will also deal with some of the same sorts of class issues as Downton Abbey, as well as highlight hidden moments in the history of women in fashion and domestic affairs.
Mr. Selfridge is currently filming in the UK and is slated to air in 2013, but exact dates for US and UK transmission have yet to be determined. (If you'd like an early look at Piven in some fairly fancy period dress, you can find a few filming shots here.)
The announcement that Mr. Selfridge will join the Masterpiece family brought with it some more great news: that the multi-series production co-production deal between Masterpiece and UK network ITV also includes further episodes of Endeavour, Inspector Lewis, Miss Marple and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. So we can now officially look forward to new installments of all four of those popular programs in the coming year as well.