In a move that was expected, ITV officially announced today that it has ordered 10 new episodes of period drama Mr Selfridge. The Jeremy Piven-starring series is currently in its 2nd season and the next promises to see his character’s life begin to “unravel.” The department store drama is based on the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge (Piven) who founded the London shopping mecca Selfridges in 1909. Season 2, which is airing now in the UK with an average 6.4M viewers and a 21.6 share, was the No. 1 show in its time slot last Sunday with 4.8M at 9 PM. The current run picks up in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary and with talk of war ahead in Europe. Season 3 is due to pick up in 1919. PBS starts airing S2 on March 30 in the States; no air dates have been set for the next go-round.
Piven is currently shooting the Entourage movie and filming on S3 of Mr Selfridge will bring him back to London for an April start. Kate Lewis, executive producer for ITV Studios, says there are “surprises” to come. “You only have to walk down Oxford Street today to know that Selfridges Department Store continued to be successful, but for its founder, Harry Selfridge, things were very different. His story was a rollercoaster ride that ended rather tragically. We pick up Series 3 in 1919, the point at which his life really begins to unravel.” ITV says a lavish replica of the 1909 Selfridge’s shop floor will be recreated in a former carpet warehouse; many high-end UK series are currently taking up space in converted buildings. The exterior of the store will be filmed in the Dockyard Chatham in Kent. Kate Brooke returns as the lead writer alongside Kate O’Riordan and Helen Raynor. The series will be produced by Dominic Barlow, and executive produced by Kate Lewis for ITV Studios with Kate Brooke and Kate O’Riordan. Rebecca Eaton executive produces for WGBH.