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Drama first for BBC America

US channel BBC America has ordered its first original scripted drama, which goes into production at Cineflix Studios in Canada this autumn.

Ten-parter Copper follows a young Irish police officer as he navigates the immigrant slums of 1860s New York – specifically the Five Points neighborhood, known to movie fans as the setting of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

The executive producers include co-creators Tom Fontana (Oz, Homicide: Life on the Street) and Will Rokos (Southland), with Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and Christina Wayne (Broken Trail) of Cineflix Studios.

Another Toronto-made cop drama, Entertainment One’s Rookie Blue, also had the title Copper during development.

Shooting starts this fall in Toronto, for a summer 2012 airdate. The series will feature actors from “both sides of the Atlantic,” said Perry Simon, general manager of BBC America.

“In the spirit of great BBC drama, it is brimming with fascinating and complex characters,” he said.

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