Watch Mr. Selfridge Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

The new PBS series “Mr Selfridge” is every bit as good as Downton Abbey, in fact, it might even be BETTER! And it’s based on a true story! There, we said it! If you saw Sunday’s episode you’ll probably agree. Downton Abbey deals with country life and manners while Mr Selfridge is about social progress and commerce in the early 20th century. Wisconsin born Harry Selfridge, fresh from Marshall Field’s in Chicago, moved to London to open a lavish and modern department store. Until this point stores were unwelcoming – merchandise was piled in the windows, they were not heated, poorly lit, and “browsers” were asked to leave. Selfridge hired the best architects and created a customer-friendly store with huge dramatic windows and an elegant glossy first floor with beautifully arranged merchandise of the era. (Costumes and set décor in this series are mouth-watering.) Retail jobs opened new doors for women. In Sunday night’s episode, Selfridge toyed with the idea of ready-to-wear – at that time all clothes were custom made. A revolutionary store in a revolutionary era. (Sundays at 9, PBS, Mar 31 to May 19)

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  1. I can’t think of any one more dreadful than Jeremy Piven. ( Well..perhaps Jonah Hill)

  2. I am enjoying the series immensely! It’s truly a guilty pleasure – but it’s NOT “Downton Abby” which is also about social and economic changes in the UK.

  3. I won’t watch this show because of Piven. He’s so into himself and LOUD. No way is this as good as or better then Downton Abby

  4. I tried to watch it but Pivan is such a dreadful actor that I just couldn’t. Thankfully Mad Men is back and in June The Killing! So I’m good.

  5. Hey it’s good but I don’t think it’s great. The new Dallas is GREAT!!

  6. Janet, thanks. I watch this on Sundays, and the recast on Wednesdays because it goes by so fast.
    DYK that Macys just cut back all its 40-hour salesclerks to less than so as not to pay health insurance/benefits. And, they’re all on a point system–when you run out of points, goodbye job.
    Jeremy Priven – don’t know much about him, but he’s perfect as Mr. Selfridge.

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