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Time's up for The Hour as BBC axes third series

The end is nigh for the period drama set in a 1950s newsroom

It was billed as Britain’s answer to Mad Men, but The Hour does not have its American rival's longevity and has been axed by the BBC after just two series.

The period drama, set in the 1950s about a young group of journalists, stars Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw and Dominic West, will not continue for a third series according to the Radio Times.

It's discontinuation comes despite nominations for four Baftas, two Golden Globes and an Emmy.

Ratings for the second series, which aired in November last year, were significantly down compared to series one.

The opening of series two recorded 1.33m viewers, whereas the debut episode of the first series saw 2.89m people tune in.

Speaking in an interview with the BBC last year, writer Abi Morgan fuelled rumours of an impending third series by saying she hoped to introduce a new character and would move the newsroom to the 1960s if it got recommissioned.

Bafta Award-winning Morgan, whose other credits include Brick Lane, had been criticised for making The Hour's dialogue too modern, with phrases such as "I bottled it" and "I'm on it" drawing claims of period inaccuracy.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We loved the show but have to make hard choices to bring new shows through.”

The BBC has announced it is commissioning a third series of Call the Midwife, as well as new dramas Atlantis, from the production team behind Merlin, and an adaptation of PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley.