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It’s official: Entourage star Jeremy Piven is headed over to ITV to star in Mr. Selfridge. He will play the leading role in the period drama as entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, the man behind Selfridge’s, a department store designed to appeal to the modern woman of 1909.
Piven had been in talks for the role as the flamboyant American businessman, and now Deadline says the deal has gone through. The plot will focus on Selfridge, who makes it is his goal to “make shopping as exciting as sex” in London just after the turn of the century. “Mile a Minute Harry,” as he is nicknamed, creates a lavish department store aimed at women who are finding themselves with a freedom they have never before enjoyed.
Also cast for the project is Katherine Kelly of Coronation Street as Lady Mae, a socialite who embodies the modern aspects of women Selfridge is aiming to celebrate. She provides important social connections to make Harry’s dreams a reality. Frances O’Connor of Picadilly Jim will play Harry’s wife. Mr. Selfridge is the working title, and it’s all based on a true story, as told in the book Shopping, Seduction, and Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead.
With Entourage wrapping up, Piven won’t be seeing much downtime, it seems. The success of Downton Abbey here in the U.S. makes this project promising, and with an American as the lead character and star, it should interest U.S. audiences even more. Sadly, we’ll have to wait for the show to hit British television and then make its way over here.