‘Mr. Sel­fridge’:

9 p.m. Sun­day, Chan­nel 9

TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -

Harry Sel­fridge made shop­ping fun. Sure, peo­ple al­ways shopped, but it was more of a chore be­fore Sel­fridge re­de­fined the ex­pe­ri­ence in 1909.

Though many Amer­i­cans may not know his name, the lush eight-part se­ries “Mr. Sel­fridge,” launch­ing on PBS’ “Mas­ter­piece Clas­sic,” , brings view­ers into his world. It’s well worth the visit.

Jeremy Piven (“En­tourage”) is per­fectly cast as the brash Amer­i­can in the ti­tle role.

“I would de­scribe him as a burst of bright light, hopefully en­dear­ing and a pow­er­ful en­ergy that pos­si­bly takes up a lot of en­ergy in the room and yet is in love with what he does and his fam­ily and makes ev­ery­one in the room feel spe­cial,” Piven says.

It’s an apt de­scrip­tion for the man who seems to al­ways have some­thing to prove and whose charisma en­chants peo­ple.

Set in Eng­land around the same time as “Downton Abbey,” “Mr. Sel­fridge” is very much its own se­ries.

Frances O’Connor (pic­tured above), who plays Rose, Sel­fridge’s wife, says when she shops there, “Your heart rate goes up. It is such a beau­ti­ful store, with high ceil­ings, and when you en­ter, it is so glam­orous.”

Sel­fridge’s ideas were boldly Amer­i­can. He es­chewed tra­di­tion for trend­set­ting — in­clud­ing promi­nently dis­play­ing cos­met­ics on the ground floor, when nice women did not even ad­mit to us­ing mois­tur­izer. He coined the phrase “the cus­tomer is al­ways right” and shook up Lon­don’s stuffy es­tab­lish­ments.


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