FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Where Ladies Find Heaven!
The new critically acclaimed seven-part series will air at 8:00pm on Sundays, Oct. 6th
- Nov. 17th on WTVP-HD 47.1.
- Based on the novel 'Au Bonheur des Dames' by Émile Zola -
Romance is always in stock at The Paradise,
MASTERPIECE CLASSIC’S bewitching drama set in a spectacular Victorian-era department store,
where ladies shop for suits and suitors. Based on Émile Zola’s groundbreaking novel, the
seven-part series airs Sundays, October 6th through November 17th, 2013 at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD
A love story, mystery, social comedy, and fairy tale all in one, the lavish costume
drama stars Joanna Vanderham (What Masie Knew) as Denise Lovett, a poor country girl
who finds a job in a glittering retail palace called The Paradise. Emun Elliott (Game of
Thrones) co-stars as John Moray, the handsome, enigmatic owner of the establishment, which
is driving smaller shops out of business, including one run by Denise’s uncle, played by Peter
Wright (Pride & Prejudice).
Critics were delighted by The Paradise during its UK
broadcast, calling it “irresistible” (Huffington Post UK), “escapism you can gorge on”
(Metro), and “a nineteenth century Sex and the City” (Radio Times).
Also starring are Elaine Cassidy (A Room with a View) as Katherine
Glendenning, Moray’s prime love interest; Patrick Malahide (Game of Thrones) as
Katherine’s father, a calculating banker who can pull the plug on Moray at any time; Sarah
Lancashire (Oliver Twist) as Miss Audrey, the imperious but endearing head of ladies
wear; and David Hayman (The Hollow Crown) as Jonas, the sinister house detective, who
sees and knows all, including the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Moray’s wife
three years earlier.
The cast also features Ruby Bentall (Lost in Austen) and Sonya Cassidy
(Endeavour) as Pauline and Clara, Denise’s carousing coworkers; Stephen Wight
(Sherlock) as Sam, a charming young sales assistant; and Matthew McNulty
(Cranford) as Dudley, Moray’s business partner and the voice of reason in the face
of his friend’s unbridled ambitions.
The story opens with Denise’s arrival in a northern English city to help out her
uncle, only to discover that he has no work for her. She lands a job across the street at The
Paradise, thanks to a snap judgment by Moray that this modest young woman has retail potential—plus
other interesting qualities. Before long, he is calling her “my little champion” in recognition
of her preternatural gift for customer relations and marketing.
Naturally, complications abound—in the jealousy of the other staff for Denise; in
the store’s never-ending battle to increase sales and pay off loans; in the disaster befalling
Denise’s uncle and other tradesmen; in Moray’s reputation as a ladies’ man who has taken liberties
with female employees; in the darkly hinted fate of Moray’s first wife, whose portrait hangs like
a shrine in his office; and in his tempestuous relationship with Katherine, whose beauty, wealth,
and infatuation with him make her the ideal candidate to become the second Mrs. Moray.
Then there are Denise’s own secrets. One she confides to Pauline: “I don’t want to
marry Moray; I want to be him.”
The Paradise is inspired by Émile Zola’s story of the
transformative powers of capitalism, Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise).
Published in 1883, the novel describes an exciting innovation of the era: the modern department
store, an engine of commerce that was sweeping out the old and ushering in a glorious new
is a BBC/MASTERPIECE co-production. The writer and creator is Bill Gallagher. It is based on
the novel Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola. The executive producers are Susan Hogg
and Bill Gallagher. Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer for MASTERPIECE. The producer is
Simon Lewis. The directors are Marc Jobst, David Drury and Sue Tully.
is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Funding for the series 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.
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or email@example.com
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