Could PBS Silicon Valley doc spawn 'Mad Men' for geek set?

OK, it's a documentary for "American Experience," about Robert Noyce, Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, and the birth of Silicon Valley. But just look at those vintage suits.

Robert Noyce (center, foreground) and the rest of the "Traitorous Eight" at Fairchild Semiconductor, 1960. (Gordon Moore is at the far left.) PBS / The Computer History Museum / © Wayne Miller, Magnum Photos

Somehow "Mad Men" just sounds cooler than "Sili Men." Still, there's no telling what sort of martini and microchip soaked show some wild-eyed TV exec might concoct after seeing PBS' upcoming "American Experience" documentary on the origins of Silicon Valley.

Take a peek at the photo above. Just look at that chrome-y Fairchild Semiconductor logo in that oh-so-midcentury interior. Check out those natty suits and spectacles. And (sigh) look at that dreamy, tieless rebel in the foreground -- he makes Don Draper look like a wuss. Plus, that's not just some slick-dad ad guy, he's brilliant and charismatic physicist Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the world-changing integrated circuit, and head of the "Traitorous Eight" who abandoned Shockley Semiconductor in 1957 to form Fairchild. (That's right, the "Traitorous Eight" -- how's that for a made-for-TV moniker?)

The PBS presentation, "Silicon Valley," tells the story of the Valley's beginnings by way of the story of Noyce, Fairchild, and Noyce's later project, a little company called Intel, which he co-founded with Gordon Moore. It airs February 19. And let's face it, with geek-hunks and skinny neckwear like that, this little tale is just begging for adaptation (not to mention its own clothing line). Tune in to the PBS version, so you can get a glimpse of what really went down before your mind is pleasantly polluted by AMC's or HBO's take on it all.

Here's a taste:

 

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