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'Mad Men,' a new series set during the 1960s, centers around New York City advertising executives.

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Mad Men

(AMC, 10 p.m., July 19): The "Mad" in this new 13-part drama is actually short for "Madison Avenue." Created by Matthew Weiner, a former executive producer of "The Sopranos," the series is about advertising executives, circa 1960. And it's very filmic both in execution and ambition as it explores life before Betty Friedan and the Surgeon General's warnings on cigarette packs. The show has drawn heat from activists critical of the Jack Daniel's sponsorship and product placement, but Weiner defends it as a dramatic exploration of a different era, one in which smoking and drinking were more common.

Grade: B+

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