ITV are in negotiations with Piven to take the lead in Mr. Selfridge, a ten-part series that will chronicle the life of the eponymous Harry Gordon Selfridge, the retail magnate who founded Selfridges, one of the leading UK department stores, second only to Harrods.
The historical mini-series will be based on Lindy Woodhead’s original book, Shopping, Seduction, and Mr. Selfridge, and Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’ Diary) has adapted the script for Jon Jones (Going Postal) to direct, with Davies and Jones having worked together already for ITV adapting Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.
“Mr. Selfridge is set in London in 1909 at a time when wealthy women were enjoying a new sense of freedom, and “Mile a Minute Harry” wanted to indulge, empower and celebrate these women, making shopping as thrilling as sex.”
Having recently found so much success with Downton Abbey since it began at the end of 2010, ITV are paving the way for another big success in the period genre, and bringing in a high-profile actor like Piven is definitely the way to go. You can be sure that I’ll be locked in every night when it’s airing.
Production is set to begin in London this April for a 2013 premiere, and the show will also be shopped to US networks just as Downton Abbey was, so fans of Piven on both sides of the Atlantic can hopefully look forward to seeing him take the lead on this.
I’m a huge fan of Piven’s myself, and am already beyond excited to see him lead Mr. Selfridge next year. He’s an actor of great talents – which have earned him three Emmys and a Golden Globe for Entourage alone – and it sounds like we’re in for a lot of fun with his return to the UK.
Just for fun, I’ve included a great clip of him in Entourage – for anyone unacquainted with the show, I highly recommend you look into it now. (N.B. It’s definitely not suitable for work, with lots of casual F-bombs dropped all over the place.)