[03/24/11 - 07:11 AM]
BAFTA Award Winning Writer Abi Morgan Brings Her Espionage Thriller to BBC America
"The Hour," set behind the scenes of the BBC's news room in London in the mid '50s, stars Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw.

[via press release from BBC America]


NEW YORK - BBC AMERICA is co-producing a new six-part drama series, The Hour, to premiere this summer on BBC AMERICA. Created and written by BAFTA award-winning Abi Morgan (White Girl, Sex Traffic, Brick Lane, Murder), The Hour stars Dominic West(The Wire, The Devil's Whore), Romola Garai (Emma, Atonement) and Ben Whishaw (Bright Star, Criminal Justice, Brideshead Revisited) locked in a highly competitive, sharp witted and passionate love triangle. The series, set behind the scenes of the BBC's news room in London in the mid '50s, is an edge-of-your-seat spy thriller unfolding over six episodes. Produced by Kudos (Life on Mars, Spooks, Law and Order U.K.), it is distributed by Shine International. It is a Kudos Film and Television/BBC AMERICA co-production for the BBC.

The Hour is set on the threshold of a decade in change, from the ruthless sexual politics behind the polite social fa´┐Żade of the '50s, to the revelations that redefined the world for a new generation. It follows the lives of three characters who are tasked to set up a new weekly investigative news program, The Hour. The drama plots the personal lives, professional interplay and jealous ambition between aspiring but renegade journalist Freddie Lyon (Whishaw), the beautiful ambitious young producer Bel Rowley (Garai) with whom he is in love, and his handsome rival Hector Madden (West), the face and lead anchorman of this rising television news team. Driven by quick-witted characters and fast paced dialogue, The Hour plays out as a riveting thriller set against the backdrop of the Cold War and Ian Fleming's world of espionage.

Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America says: "I'm very proud that BBC AMERICA is co-producing The Hour, a drama with complex storytelling and a range of compelling characters. It's another example of BBC AMERICA's commitment to bringing the highest quality British drama to American audiences. I'm also delighted to be partnering again with Kudos, the producers of Law And Order UK, one of our channel's signature series."

Supporting cast includes Tim Pigott-Smith and Juliet Stevenson as Lord and Lady Elms; Anton Lesser as Clarence Fendley, the BBC's Head of News; Anna Chancellor as Lix, The Hour's brave and maverick hard-drinking foreign correspondent; Julian Rhind-Tutt as Angus McCain, the Prime Minister's eyes and ears; and Oona Chaplin as Marnie Madden, Hector's spoilt and beautiful wife.

The executive producers are Jane Featherstone, Derek Wax and Abi Morgan for Kudos Film and Television and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The producer is Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Nativity) and the series will be launched by director Coky Giedroyc (The Nativity, The Virgin Queen). Shine International brokered the co-production deal between Kudos and BBC AMERICA and will debut the series at MIPTV, one of the leading television markets, April 4-7 in Cannes, France.

BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy, four Golden Globes and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable's most affluent and educated audiences and is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 68 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist.

About Kudos

Kudos Film and Television is a British independent film and television production company. It has produced television series for the BBC, HBO, ITV and Channel 4, and its productions include Spooks (US:MI5), Hustle, Life on Mars and its spin-off Ashes to Ashes, Law & Order: UK, Occupation and M.I. High. In 2007, 2010 & 2011 it was voted the UK's most admired Independent Production Company by Broadcast magazine. Formed in 1992, since 2007 it has been part of the Shine Group. Its film unit Kudos Pictures produced Eastern Promises and Brighton Rock and in 2009 formed a joint venture with New Regency called Shine Pictures.

About Shine International

Shine International is the sales and distribution arm of Shine Group, a leading independent production and distribution company focused on exploiting worldwide intellectual property rights through scripted and alternative television formats. Shine International distributes programming from the growing library of programming of the Shine Group, including Reveille, Kudos, Dragonfly, Princess Productions, Brown Eyed Boy, Shine TV, Shine France, Shine Germany and Shine Australia as well as Metronome, along with a broad array of programming acquired from independent producers and U.S. networks, to more than 150 countries worldwide.

  [march 2011]  


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