Drama

Entourage’s Jeremy Piven Cast As “Mr. Selfridge,” Series Will Air on Masterpiece in 2013

Entourage star Jeremy Piven – perhaps best known for his exhortation that we all just “Hug it out” – will be given the chance to show off his more serious side in upcoming period drama Mr. Selfridge. Piven will play the titular character, Harry Gordon Selfridge, the visionary American entrepreneur who transformed Oxford Street in London with the splashy department store that still bears his name.

Created by the Emmy Award-winning Andrew Davies (who also did Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House), the ten-part series will focus on the life of the “pioneering and reckless” shipping magnate who turned the act of shopping into an pleasurable and social activity for Edwardian-era women. The series will also deal with some of the same sorts of class issues as Downton Abbey, as well as highlight hidden moments in the history of women in fashion and domestic affairs.

Mr. Selfridge is currently filming in the UK and is slated to air in 2013, but exact dates for US and UK transmission have yet to be determined. (If you'd like an early look at Piven in some fairly fancy period dress, you can find a few filming shots here.)

The announcement that Mr. Selfridge will join the Masterpiece family brought with it some more great news: that the multi-series production co-production deal between Masterpiece and UK network ITV also includes further episodes of Endeavour, Inspector Lewis, Miss Marple and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. So we can now officially look forward to new installments of all four of those popular programs in the coming year as well.

 

Watch a Scene From Tonight's Inspector Lewis Finale, "The Indelible Stain"

The new series of Inspector Lewis wraps up tonight on Masterpiece Mystery. Yes, somehow we’ve already reached the end of new Lewises for the year (How? It feels like we just started!), and the wait for new episodes begins once again tomorrow. Not to worry though, there’s plenty of great British fare still to come in the next few months, including a new series of Wallander, hit drama Call the Midwife, the second series of Upstairs Downstairs and, of course, the return of a little show called Downton Abbey.

But, that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves. In tonight’s Lewis finale, called The Indelible Stain, Lewis and Hathaway must investigate when a controversial American academic is found strangled after giving a guest lecture at Oxford and the possible motives include politics, ambition and vengeance.

Click through for a quick sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s episode and let us know what you think!

Downton Abbey Series 3: See a New Cast Photo and Get Some Plot Details!

New details about the highly anticipated third series of Downton Abbey have started to emerge following the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Stars Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt and cast newcomer Shirley MacLaine were all on hand to discuss the new episodes, drop a few hints about upcoming storylines and just be generally amazing. Then today, to keep the Downton mania flowing, we also got a first look at the official Series 3 promo art.

Click through for all the latest Downton dish, and a bigger version of that picture you see up top. As some plot of these plot-specific items could be consider spoilery, even if they are all plastered on every major entertainment outlet there is this morning, I’m still dumping them all under a cut in their own clearly labeled area and wishing all of you trying to avoid them good luck and Godspeed on that particular journey.

 

Watch a Scene from Tonight’s Brand New Inspector Lewis Mystery, “Fearful Symmetry”

The new series of Inspector Lewis continues tonight on Masterpiece at 9pm. In tonight’s installment, Fearful Symmetry, Lewis and Hathaway investigate the murder of a suburban babysitter who seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time – and may have been leading a secret life.

Click through for a full synopsis of tonight’s episode, as well as a sneak peek clip. Enjoy!

Preview BBC America’s First Original Drama, “Copper,” Coming This Summer

BBC America is set to debut its first original scripted series this summer, a period crime drama called Copper.

Set in 1860s New York, Copper stars Tom Westen-Jones (MI-5) as Detective Kevin Cororan, who works in the city’s notorious Five Points neighborhood and tries to maintain his moral compass despite the turbulent times the city finds itself in. (Think Gangs of New York, it would seem.) Westen-Jones will be joined by a strong supporting cast comprised of Kevin Ryan (Tripping Tommy), Franka Potente (Run Lola Run), Kyle Schmid (Blood Ties), and Anastasia Griffith (Royal Pains).

Sound interesting? Click through for a bit more background on the series and a look at the extended trailer. Then leave your thoughts in the comments.

Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery Joins the Cast of Restless

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery is set to join Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Charlotte Rampling and Hayley Atwlell in the BBC’s upcoming two-part adaptation of William Boyd’s best-selling novel Restless.

Dockery will play Ruth, a young girl who discovers that her mother Sally is really a spy named Eva, who was recruited by the British Secret Service at the start of World War II and has been living a double life on the run ever since. Rambling and Atwell will both play Eva, thirty years apart. Sewell and Gambon will also pull double character duty, both playing Lucas Romer, Eva’s former handler and lover. It all sounds quite complicated – but very interesting too!

Acclaimed theater director Ed Hall has signed on to run things behind the scenes, and Boyd – whose Any Human Heart aired on Masterpiece last year – will be adapting his own novel for the small screen.

"To have the chance to film a novel like Restless over three hours is the sort of opportunity that only a television adaptation can provide,” Boyd said.

"It represents the most enticing and alluring of possibilities - not only to tell an enthralling story of wartime espionage, love and betrayal but also to lift the lid on one of the last secrets of the Second World War."

Restless is due to screen on BBC One in late 2012. No hard date has been established for when we might see this drama here in the States, but the Hollywood Reporter says the project will broadcast in the US “later this year” as well.

Watch the New Trailer for Wallander Series 3

Exciting news - the BBC has released the first trailer for Wallander Series 3!

Kenneth Branagh returns to his BAFTA-winning role as Inspector Kurt Wallander in three new feature-length episodes, based on Henning Mankell’s best-selling novels. In the newest set of mysteries – entitled An Event in Autumn, The Dogs of Riga and Before the Frost – the somber detective’s hard-won and fragile new hope will be put to the test when he encounters the most brutal of crimes that force him to confront his own demons. (Poor Wallander; he’s got enough personal demons to start a Halloween shop.)

Click through for a first look at the new series, set to a wonderfully haunting rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. (BBC One just seriously puts out the best trailers sometimes, I swear.)

Watch a Scene From Morse Prequel Endeavour, Airing on Masterpiece Tonight!

Tonight at 9pm on Masterpiece Mystery, Shaun Evans stars in Endeavour, a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse series.

Set in 1965, Evans stars as a much-younger Endeavour Morse, back when he was a rookie Detective Constable cutting his teeth on his first cases in Oxford.

Click through for a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s mystery special and get a bit of a feel for Evans’ performance in the role of Morse. What do you think? Will he be able to live up to John Thaw?

Time for a Sherlock Post: What Do We Know About Series 3 So Far?

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m already having serious Sherlock withdrawal. (Ha, just kidding - I totally know about the rest of you, and I am willing to bet that you are too!) So I figured, since I desperately need an excuse to talk about it we have to do something to entertain ourselves during the Great Hiatus, why not have a semi-regular feature that rounds up all the news of importance and mildly tangential interest to Holmesians in one place?

Over the last month or so the first tidbits about Sherlock Series 3 have begun to make their way into the news – and though there’s not a ton to work with here in terms of official announcements, well, it’s still water in the desert people. Let’s cling to it.

Click through for the latest official word on Series 3 filming, what the first episode will be, whether we could be seeing Sherlock continue past the third series, and general series-related flailing. (I know it's nothing y'all hardcore types haven't seen already, but, indulge me, okay?)

Downton Abbey Series 3 First Look: Shirley MacLaine Faces Off with Maggie Smith

Everyone's eager for Downton Abbey to return to our televisions in January – but let’s face it, what we’re really all looking forward to in Series 3 is seeing Dame Maggie Smith’s indomitable Dowager Countess go head-to-head with new addition Shirley MacLaine’s Martha Levinson. Right? Luckily, we can now get our first tiny sneak peek at what the confrontations between these two veteran actresses will be like!

The American Film Institute honored MacLaine with their 40th “AFI Life Achievement Award” last night and various celebrities paid tribute to the accomplished actress during the ceremony. One of the presenters was Downton’s Elizabeth McGovern, who introduced a brand new clip from Series 3, featuring MacLaine and Smith indulging in the sort of verbal sparring that makes you want to cry because we’re still over six months away from seeing this for ourselves.

When faced with Lady Violet upon her arrival at Downton, Maclaine’s Martha snarks, “Oh, dear. I’m afraid the war has made old women of us both.”

Yup, it’s pretty much exactly how you pictured it in your head, and exactly how we all wanted their interactions to turn out. She called the Dowager Countess old, y’all. Get the popcorn ready. It's on.

Click through to get your first look at MacLaine in action, and leave your initial impressions of Lady Cora’s mother in the comments.

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