ITV today announced that following its ratings success, period drama Mr Selfridge has been commissioned for another series.
Since launching on ITV this January, Mr Selfridge has achieved a peak episode audience of 9.4 million viewers, making it the most watched new ITV drama series, by top episode, since Scott and Bailey in May 2011. Mr Selfridge is currently averaging 8.5 million viewers, based on consolidated data.
The second series, produced by ITV Studios, will see Jeremy Piven (Entourage) reprise his leading role as the flamboyant and visionary American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge.
Other key cast are also set to return, alongside some exciting new characters. Andrew Davies (Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice), will be joined again by Kate Brooke (Case Sensitive, Making of a Lady) and Kate O’Riordan (The Bad Mother’s Handbook, The Kindness of Strangers) as lead writers on the series.
Set in 1914 in the run up to the Great War, Harry Selfridge has made his mark and established his iconic store, bringing life to the dead end of Oxford Street and revolutionising shopping in London. Harry’s pioneering ideas and spectacular events have made Selfridge’s a thriving success. However, the onset of war, set to be the greatest and most devastating in history, touches the lives of everyone in the store. In these troubled times, Harry turns to family and friends and sets about healing the rifts of the past.
The 10 x 1 hour episodes of Mr Selfridge will begin filming in April on location in Greater London and Kent. Transmission on ITV will be in 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the First World War.
British historian, Juliet Gardiner joins the team at ITV Studios as historical advisor alongside author of Shopping Seduction and Mr Selfridge, Lindy Woodhead who continues in her role as advisor on retail history.
Mr Selfridge has been recommissioned for ITV by Acting Director of Drama Commissioning Steve November.
"I am delighted to be recommissioning ten new episodes of Mr Selfridge from ITV Studios. It is ITV drama at its best and we are looking forward to spending more time with the wonderful characters" said Steve.
The series will be produced by Cherry Gould (Lightfields, Above Suspicion), and executive produced by ITV Studios’ Kate Lewis alongside Andrew Davies, Kate Brooke and Kate O’Riordan. The director of episodes 5, 6 and 7 of series one, Anthony Byrne (Silent Witness, Single Handed) will return to direct the first of the new episodes.
Kate Lewis, executive producer for ITV Studios said: "ITV Studios is thrilled to be making a second series of Mr Selfridge. The story of Harry Selfridge, his family and colleagues has drawn in a strong drama audience and we are delighted by the response. The second series will allow us to build on this success and it is a fantastic opportunity to focus on 1914 during the centenary of the Great War."
Mr Selfridge will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.