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BBC America launching original programming with Gangs Of New York-style cop drama

Like so many basic-cable channels these days, BBC America has announced plans to move beyond merely doing the thing that it was created to do—namely, repackage popular UK shows for American consumption—to get into original programming, which is where the advertisers and Emmys are. Its first foray into new scripted series: Copper, a crime drama set in New York City that differs from all the approximately 1,000 other New York crime dramas by taking place in 1860, where it follows a young Irish immigrant police officer who has to contend with Five Points-era, Gangs Of New York-style warfare, Harlem’s emerging black community, and those snooty high-society Manhattanites. The show is co-created by Tom Fontana (Oz, Homicide: Life On The Street) and Southland’s Will Rokos, a couple of guys who know a little something about cop dramas and gang warfare, and is slated to premiere next summer. No word yet if the character will actually be named “Copper,” but he may as well be, as we’re just going to call him that anyway.

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