EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Piven is in negotiations to star in the 10-episode ITV drama series Mr. Selfridge. Announced just last week by the British commercial broadcaster, Mr. Selfridge will trace the life of the flamboyant and visionary American entrepreneur, Harry Gordon Selfridge (Piven), and chronicle the launch of his famous London department store Selfridge’s. Based on the book Shopping, Seduction And Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead, the series, created by Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’ Diary), is looking to capitalize on the success of another ITV period drama, Downton 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. ITV had been looking for a high-profile American actor to play the lead in the series, which starts production in April in London for a 2013 premiere. Chrissy Skinns is producing, with Kate Lewis executive producing. Jon Jones (Downton Abbey) will direct Mr. Selfridge, produced by ITV Studios, which will be shopped to U.S. networks. Piven, repped by CAA and The Schiff Co, is coming off a seven-year run as brash Hollywood agent Ari Gold on the HBO comedy Entourage, which earned him three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.
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