Aside from launching a thousand punchlines and making '60s style trendy again, Mad Men has also opened the flood gates for similar period dramas. NBC is giving us The Playboy Club. ABC is giving us Pan Am. And now comes The Hour, a new BBC drama set behind the scenes of a British news program in 1956 London. If you're wondering whether that particular year will serve up any historic events as backdrop, the show's events unfold during the Suez Crisis.

Actually, that's not quite fair. The BBC has pretty much always been about period dramas, so the arrival of The Hour doesn't necessarily correlate to the ascension of Don Draper. Still, there's clearly something in the water these days, because we all seem to be in the mood to watch dapper folks confront dramatic situations a few decades in the past. Hey, it beats the hell out of another cop drama.

The Hour was created by BAFTA award winner Abi Morgan, and stars several recognizable faces, including The Wire's Dominic West, Romola Garai, and Ben Whishaw. The show started its run across the pond last month, and it'll be premiering here in the States August 17th on BBC America.

It sounds like a promising way to help survive the summer TV doldrums. And even better, the show only runs six episodes, so it'll be wrapping up right around the time the Fall premieres get into full swing.

We've got two looks at the show below: a snazzy and stylish trailer, then a longer clip from the show courtesy of BBC America.

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