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Is Jeremy Piven the Face of a New ‘Downton Abbey’?

Entourage  Jeremy Piven
HBO

Whether or not you’re familiar with either ‘Entourage’ or ‘Downton Abbey,’ it’s safe to assume that one doesn’t picture upper-class period drama with Jeremy Piven in the starring role.  If Ari Gold taught us anything, Piven’s strength lies somewhat in the opposite direction.

All the same, Deadline TV reveals that Piven is currently engaged in negotiations to take the title role in a new London period drama from ITV, entitled ‘Mr. Selfridge.”  The 10-part series follows the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, and the launch of his famous London department store Selfridge’s.  Well, at least Piven won’t have an accent.

Deadline tells us ‘Mr. Selfridge’ will unfold in 1909 London at a time when “wealthy women were enjoying a new sense of freedom,” and “Mile a Minute Harry” sought mostly to indulge, empower and celebrate these women, making shopping as thrilling as sex. I’ve had both, and I’ll tell you, there is nothing like a good bargain.

ITV picked up the drama based on the Lindy Woodhead book ‘Shopping, Seduction And Mr. Selfridge’ likely to capitalize on the success of their other period effort ‘Downton Abbey’.  The network had been searching for a high-profile American star to take the role for some time, though Piven has yet to officially take the part.

‘Mr. Selfridge’ begins production this April in London for a 2013 premiere, with Chrissy Skinns producing and Kate Lewis executive producing. Jon Jones (Downton Abbey) will direct, produced by ITV Studios and will be shopped to U.S. networks.

What say you, can Jeremy Piven headline a scandalous period drama, or is ‘Mr. Selfridge’ a few hugs and celebrity cameos shy of ‘Entourage’-level d-baggery?  Give us your take on Piven, or the possibility of another ‘Downton Abbey’ in the comments below!

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