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BBC America Orders New Drama Series from 'Oz' Creator Tom Fontana

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 29th 2011 8:30AM
BBC America logo'Homicide' meets 'Gangs of New York' for BBC America's first foray into original scripted drama.

The network announced that it has ordered a ten-episode period cop drama from Tom Fontana ('Oz') and Will Rokos ('Southland').

'Copper' is set in the notorious Five Points Irish neighborhood of New York City in the 1860s.

The executive producers include Fontana, Rokos, Barry Levinson ('Homicide: Life on the Street') and Christina Wayne ('Mad Men') of Canada's Cineflix Studios.

Perry Simon, General Manager, BBC America said that 'Copper' is "brimming with fascinating and complex characters giving us the opportunity to cast the best actors from both sides of the Atlantic."

Simon's had a long working relationship with Levinson and Fontana. Before moving to BBC America he was head of drama series development at NBC during its 'Homicide' years, and was head of Viacom's TV production when that division took over production on their HBO prison drama 'Oz.'

He told the TCA press tour that 'Copper' is an ideal way to enter the scripted-original business. "I really didn't want our first original to be a London cop who gets transferred to Las Vegas," he joked.

'Copper' focuses on a rugged young Irish cop who has to navigate the unruly and sometimes violent currents of his immigrant neighborhood, while simultaneously interacting with uptown Manhattan high society and the emerging black community in Harlem.

Casting is underway and production is slated to start in Toronto in the fall. 'Copper' will premiere on BBC America in summer 2012.

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