Seven Network will co-produce a 10 part drama with ITV, Mr. Selfridge, based on American entrepreneur Harry Selfridge who established UK department store Selfridges.
The series, written by Andrew Davies (The Line of Beauty, Little Dorrit, Tipping the Velvet) , sees Jeremy Piven (Entourage) playing flamboyant and visionary ‘Mile a Minute Harry’, a man with a mission to make shopping as thrilling as sex. Pioneering and reckless, with an almost manic energy, he created “a theatre of retail.”
In a statement ITV says, “The drama is set in London in 1909, at a time when women were revelling in a new sense of freedom and modernity. Harry wanted to indulge, empower and celebrate these women and so opened the doors of his lavish department store, on London’s famous Oxford Street.
“Through the innovations and spectacular events Harry staged within the store, the stories will shine a light on hidden moments of the history of women, be it fashion, cosmetics, technology or domestic affairs.
“Harry’s colourful life will play out against the rich tapestry of London at the turn of the century. In his leisure hours he was a gambler, and although happily married, he enjoyed the company of glamorous show girls and film stars. His womanising was legendary and he very much lived life in the fast lane.”
The series is being described by insiders as Downton Abbey in a department store.
Australian Frances O’Connor plays Harry’s wife, Rose.
This is the second Seven / ITV co-production to air in 2013, following Mrs. Biggs.
UPDATE: Seven has clarified the Fairfax story was incorrect and it has not entered into a co-production. It has picked up the Australian broadcasting rights.