The BBC Sours on The Hour

A day after SoHo belatedly resumed The Hour, the BBC has axed the news drama.

While the first series enjoyed a strong UK run, viewership halved during the second.

Broadcast magazine reports the producers had intended to produce three series.

“Writer Abi Morgan said she hoped to introduce new characters if the show got a third run and that she would move it from the BBC newsroom of the 1950s to the 1960s to explore how the period would affect her characters.”

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

However, while overnight ratings were lower, Broadcast points out “the second series performed better once recording was factored in”.

Kiwi critics have been more impressed by the second series than the first.

The Dominion Post’s Jane Clifton reckons it’s “even richer in visual appeal and denser in plot” and benefits from The Thick Of It’s Peter Capaldi joining leads Dominic West, Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai.

The NZ Herald’s called The Hour‘s scripting “tight and sophisticated, thanks to writer Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady), and its performances are excellent”.

If you don’t subscribe to SoHo, the second series will be released next month on disc — but only DVD, not Blu-ray.

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