Jeremy Piven made his debut as Harry Selfridge on ITV’s Mr Selfridge last night, drawing over 7M UK viewers. According to overnight figures, the period department store drama had a 28.6% share from 9PM-10:30PM with an average audience of 7.27M. The 10-episode series is about the eponymous American entrepreneur (aka “Mile a Minute Harry”) who in 1909 empowered women through retail at his London shopping mecca, Selfridge’s. It’s running in the Sunday night time slot that’s occupied by Downton Abbey in the fall and while it didn’t exactly pull Downton-style numbers, The Guardian notes it was down a marginal .4% on the time slot’s three-month average which had been boosted by Downton‘s strongest season yet. It also bested BBC One’s Ripper Street which aired its second episode last night. That show, co-produced by BBC America, is an 8-parter that’s set in 1899 London in the aftermath of the Jack The Ripper murders and stars Matthew Macfadyen. It drew a 19.9% share in the 9PM hour with 5.37M viewers. Ripper Street premieres Stateside on January 19 while Mr Selfridge bows on PBS March 31.
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