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BBC America breaks into original programming with 'Copper'
Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson produce the 1860s NYC drama
After building its reputation on overseas transplants and, in recent years co-productions, BBC America has ordered its first original drama series, "Copper."
"Copper" is co-created by Tom Fontana ("OZ," "Homicide," "St. Elsewhere") and Will Rokos ("Monster's Ball), who will executive produce along with Christina Wayne of Cineflix Studio and Fontana's long-time TV production partner Barry Levinson.
The drama is set in the Five Points neighborhood of New York City in the 1860s, focusing on an Irish cop policing an immigrant community, while also interacting with the different levels of social stratification around the city.
States BBC America General Manager Perry Simon, "'Copper is a great fit for BBC America, capturing the early American multicultural experience in provocative, ground-breaking fashion. In the spirit of great BBC drama it's brimming with fascinating and complex characters giving us the opportunity to cast the best actors from both sides of the Atlantic. I'm delighted to be working with Tom and Barry again, together with Will, Christina and the talented team at Cineflix Studios. We could not be in better hands for BBC America's first dramatic series."
Audiences will have some familiarity with the "Copper" backdrop from the Martin Scorsese film "Gangs of New York" or from the Herbert Asbury book that gave the film its loose basis.
"BBC America is the ideal home for Copper in the U.S.," states Glen Salzman, CEO, Cineflix Studios. "Cineflix Studios has put together an amazing team for this series, some of the best in the business, who will produce compelling television with widespread international appeal. We look forward to starting production in a few months and continuing to ramp up our scripted programming slate."
"Copper," currently in casting, will begin production in Toronto in 2011 and will premiere on BBC America in the summer of 2012.