PBS has purchased a second season of Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven as the American entrepreneur who founded UK’s Selfridge department store. The second season will air on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic franchise in ’14. PBS says the first season was sampled by 15 million viewers over its eight episodes; each episode averaged about 4 million viewers. In today’s announcement, Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said, “It is clear from our audience’s reaction that they want more of Harry Selfridge, his family and department store shopping!” Not so much the TV Academy, which last week gave Mr. S just one Emmy nom for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series. One year earlier, the academy gave the Masterpiece Classic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations five noms. And, of course, the academy showered Downton Abbey with 13 noms this year, though that’s far fewer than the noms with which it had feted the first season of Downton, when it competed as a miniseries. Maybe Mr. Selfridge entered the wrong Emmy race?
But Mr. Selfridge counts among its corporate sponsors the Ralph Lauren Corporation, which became a Masterpiece sponsor last year. A series about fashion is right in its wheelhouse. Did you know Ralph Lauren clothing is available at Selfridges? Currently filming in the UK, the second season of Mr Selfridge picks up the story in 1914, as the store celebrates its fifth anniversary in business. With World War I imminent, the lives of everyone at Selfridge’s will inevitably be affected.