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PBS Orders Second Season of ‘Mr. Selfridge’

PBS has purchased a second season of Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven as the American entrepreneur who founded UK’s Selfridge department store. The second season will air on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic franchise in ’14. PBS says the first season was sampled by 15 million viewers over its eight episodes; each episode averaged about 4 million viewers. In today’s announcement, Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said, “It is clear from our audience’s reaction that they want more of Harry Selfridge, his family and department store shopping!” Not so much the TV Academy, which last week gave Mr. S just one Emmy nom for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series. One year earlier, the academy gave the Masterpiece Classic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations  five noms. And, of course, the academy showered Downton Abbey with 13 noms this year, though that’s far fewer than the noms with which it had feted the first season of Downton, when it competed as a miniseries. Maybe Mr. Selfridge entered the wrong Emmy race?

But Mr. Selfridge  counts among its corporate sponsors the Ralph Lauren Corporation, which became a Masterpiece sponsor last year. A series about fashion is right in its wheelhouse. Did you know Ralph Lauren clothing is available at Selfridges?  Currently filming in the UK, the second season of Mr Selfridge picks up the story in 1914, as the store celebrates its fifth anniversary in … Read More »

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‘Mr Selfridge’ Is Not ‘Downton’, Producers Say, But They’ll Take Its Success: TCA

By | Tuesday January 15, 2013 @ 12:38pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Today’s TCA panel on PBS’ new Masterpiece Classic series Mr. Selfridge — a period drama starring Jeremy Piven as real-life department store entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge — was haunted by the ghost of Downton Abbey. On March 31, the new drama will join the megahit Downton on Sunday nights, so it is not surprising that Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton announced at the top of the session that the premiere of Mr. Selfridge on Britain’s ITV a couple of weeks ago rated higher that the premiere of “that other show.”

Related: ‘Mr Selfridge’ Debuts To Strong Ratings On UK’s ITV

60 Minutes SportsCreator Andrew Davies said on the panel that no decision has been made on a second season but “I’ve already written the first [episodes] of Season 2. We should hear very soon. We’ve done such good numbers in the UK; I’m very confident.” He said that in his mind, he’s up for four seasons: “Are you up for it, Jeremy?” he joked. Replied Piven: “I certainly hope I have the job, yeah. To be replaced at this point would be very disappointing. And confusing. It could be like Darrin on Bewitched, I guess.”

During the panel that featured Piven, Davies and co-stars Zoe Tapper and Frances O’Connor., Eaton stressed the differences between Selfridge (based on the nonfiction book by Lindy Woodhead) and Downton. She said that while both shows have “gorgeous people, money, life and death, seduction,” this story is based on reality. Plus she said, the department store world is a different “precinct beside the country house and the house in town. I don’t know why it hasn’t been done before.”

Related: TV Trailer: ‘Mr. Selfridge’

After the panel, she acknowledged that Masterpiece would love to repeat Downton’s success with a similar show. “We’re adding another member. It’s always risky and I think its inevitable that you want to do more of what works,” she said. “So when there is a hit show like Downton, I think there’s an enormous urge to capitalize on the attention it brings Masterpiece and to build on the audience that we’ve attracted, this seemed like kind of a perfect fit. But you have to vary it. It’s not another country house.” Read More »

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TV Teaser: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3

By | Wednesday September 5, 2012 @ 2:49pm PDT

ITV1 has posted the trailer for the third season of Downton Abbey which premieres January 6, 2013 on PBSMasterpiece Classic.

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Masterpiece To Co-Produce Jeremy Piven Series ‘Mr. Selfridge’ With ITV Studios

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 3:23pm PDT

Masterpiece/WGBH announced today it will be co-producing the new drama series Mr. Selfridge with ITV Studios. Deadline reported previously that Jeremy Piven (Entourage) will star in the title role. Mr. Selfridge tells the real-life story of the flamboyant and visionary American founder of Selfridge’s London’s lavish department store. The series was created by writer Andrew Davies (Pride And Prejudice, Bleak House) and executive-produced by Kate Lewis for ITV. The co-production package also includes new episodes of some of Masterpiece’s most popular mystery series: the Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and Inspector Lewis. Masterpiece is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer.

Related: TOLDJA! Jeremy Piven To Star In ITV Series ‘Mr. Selfridge’

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