When the first season of "The Hour" wrapped up on BBC America back in September, I noted that the BBC had already commissioned a sequel from writer Abi Morgan, but that there was no guarantee the new series would air in America. Now there is, as BBC America has stepped up as co-producer of "The Hour" season 2, to debut sometime next year.
Most of the original cast - including Romola Garai, Dominic West and Ben Whishaw - will return to the story of a '50s BBC newsmagazine show, and the ensemble is getting one hell of an addition in Peter Capaldi as the new Head of News. Capaldi has been doing fantastic work all over the place the last few years, including being the civil servant villain in "Torchwood: Children of Earth," but especially in his role as profane, vicious political operative Malcolm Tucker in the UK comedy series "The Thick of It" and its film spin-off "In the Loop." (Here's one of many, many, many incredible, NSFW Malcolm rants from
the film the show. Enjoy. Just try to avoid wasting the rest of your day by looking at the Related Videos menu.) Other new castmembers include Hannah Tointon from "The In-Betweeners" as a new lady friend of West's dashing anchorman Hector Madden, and Tom Burke as a producer who becomes a rival for Garai's Bel Rowley.
The sequel will take place in 1957, and as Morgan told me back in the summer, it won't have the espionage component that drove so many of the first season's stories, but that I and others ultimately felt was a distraction.
All of this sounds very, very promising.