BBC America will be debuting THE HOUR, its new co-production with BBC 2 on August 17th and critics got a first taste of the impressive looking  new series at the Summer’s 2011 TCA session.

Set in the mid 1950s, the series created by Abi Morgan is an espionage thriller set in the news room of the BBC as it follows the triangle of a young journalist (Ben Whishaw), an ambitious young producer (Romola Garai) and the new lead anchor of the show (Dominic West).

While similarities between THE HOUR and MAD MEN are inevitable, executive producer Derek Wax says those similarities are relegated to its period setting and not much else.

“I think certain comparisons have been made, but Abi wasn’t inspired by that show,” explains Wax. “It’s a brilliant show, but I felt that post-war Britain and this extraordinary era of 1956 was rich enough to have its own dramatic flavor. “It’s quite a different era from 1960 in the advertising world. There is a transition to something a bit more bright and colorful as we move from the old world of news reels to the new current affairs show being launched [in THE HOUR].”

Creator Morgan says she adores MAD MEN, but adds there is one more major difference between the two series.

“We’re a political thriller and that’s pretty clear in Episode One,” says Morgan. “That’s what the show is.”

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Article: The producers of BBC America’s THE HOURS talks about the new drama

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