Mr. Selfridge on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC Who knew shopping could be like this!
Premiering Sunday, March 31st at 8 p.m. on
Jeremy Piven stars as the upstart American who taught the English how to shop in
a sumptuous new series created by Emmy® Award-winning writer Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak
House), and airing on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC,
beginning with the two-hour premiere on Sunday, March 31st at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1. The series continues
Sundays from 8-9 p.m. from April 7-May 19, with each episode encoring the following Thursday at 9 p.m.
However, due to the 40th Annual WTVP Auction, which airs April 25 – 28, Episode 5 will only air Thursday, May 2
at 9:00pm. Call The Midwife
Season 2, another new British drama, also premieres on March 31 at 7pm.
Mr. Selfridge marks the first television role for Piven since his portrayal
of movie agent Ari Gold in the hit series Entourage. Now, the three-time Emmy® winner tackles another
power player in the world of glitz: Harry Gordon Selfridge, father of the renowned London department store
that bears his name and which opened to astonishment and some disdain in 1909.
Fancy window displays, cosmetics counters, merchandise you can touch, and other marketing
breakthroughs had to start somewhere, and they sprang from the genius of Chicago native Selfridge, who
combined guile, taste, boldness, the poise of a swindler, and the seductive charm of a Casanova—qualities
that spelled success but also trouble.
The cast includes Zoe Tapper (Stage Beauty) as Ellen Love, showgirl, temptress, and
the sexy “face of Selfridge's”; Frances O’Connor (Madame Bovary) as Rose, Harry’s loyal but independent
wife; Grégory Fitoussi (Spiral) as the mercurial Henri LeClair, window designer extraordinaire; and
Aisling Loftus (Case Histories) as spunky shop girl Agnes Towler, who gets the lucky break of her life
thanks to a chance encounter with Harry.
Also appearing are Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street) as Lady Mae, socialite and siren;
Ron Cook (Little Dorrit) as Mr. Crabb, Harry’s pathologically nervous chief accountant; Amanda Abbington
(Case Histories) as Miss Mardle, the lovelorn head of accessories; and Samuel West (Any Human
Heart) as newspaper editor Frank Edwards, Harry’s go-between in courting English money and mistresses.
Mr. Selfridge opens with the newly arrived Harry, fresh from success at Marshall
Field's in Chicago, checking the retail climate in London. Marshall Field pioneered the slogan, “The customer
is always right.” But Harry finds that a demanding customer in England is likely to get thrown out of the
store. Customers are expected to know what they want and, when presented with it, to make their purchase and
Furthermore, English ladies get their dresses from dressmakers who make house calls, and beauty
products are a hush-hush subject, associated with actresses and prostitutes.
But all of that is about to change. Channeling the consumer culture of the future, Harry
invents a shopping experience that is a cross between theater and fantasy fulfillment. When the intrepid
Frenchman Louis Blériot makes the first flight across the English Channel, Harry grandly displays the plane
and pilot at Selfridges. When the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova becomes the talk of the town, Harry invites
the public to meet her at his store.
Whatever the latest sensation, Harry hitches his star to it. Truly, in his personal life,
as in his business, he is addicted to the sensational—which creates exciting complications for all
is a Co-Production of ITV Studios and MASTERPIECE. It is created and written by Andrew Davies and is
inspired by “Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge” by Lindy Woodhead. The executive producers are Andrew Davies,
Kate Lewis for ITV Studios and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE. The producers are Jeremy Piven and Chrissy
Skinns. The co-producer is Carmel Maloney. The writers are Kate Brooke and Kate O'Riordan. The director of part
one is Jon Jones. The director of parts two and three is John Strickland. The director of parts four, five, and
six is Anthony Byrne. The director of parts seven and eight is Michael Keillor.
on PBS is presented by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Funding for MASTERPIECE
is provided by Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation, with additional support from public
television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future.