Cabler orders first original series

BBC America has ordered its first original series, “Copper,” co-created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos.

Barry Levinson and Christina Wayne will also exec produce the drama, which has a 10-episode order. Series will follow a young Irish policeman in the immigrant communities of 19th century New York.

“The show maintains our connectivity in a bold and smart way,” said BBC America g.m. Perry Simon at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. “I really didn’t want our first original series to be a London copper who gets transferred to Las Vegas.”

Production will begin this fall in Toronto with a summer 2012 premiere scheduled. Cineflix Studios, of which former AMC exec Wayne is president, will produce.

“BBC America is the ideal home for ‘Copper’ in the U.S.,” said Cineflix CEO Glen Salzman. “Cineflix Studios has put together an amazing team for this series, 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.”

BBC America is increasing its emphasis on scripted drama, with Dominic West-Romola Garai starrer “The Hour” the next to premiere in August, but that was an acquisition, as has been typical for the network. Another new series for American viewers, “Bedlam” with Theo James (“Downton Abbey”), bows in October.

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