BBC America Moves Into Scripted Drama With Oz Creator

By David Wharton 2011-07-28 14:41:07 discussion comments
BBC America Moves Into Scripted Drama With Oz Creator image
BBC American has thus far been in the business of introducing American audiences to the best of British TV, alongside old-school classics and the occasional WTF inclusion such as Battlestar Galactica or Star Trek: The Next Generation. Now BBCA is jumping on the same bandwagon that's worked wonders for networks like AMC and Starz: original, scripted dramas.

Hell, even Netflix is getting into the business of generating original content, so why should BBC America give it a shot? The good news is that they've nailed down some impressive bragging rights for their first scripted show. Deadline reports that BBC America has given a 10-episode order to Copper, co-created by Tom "Oz" Fontana and Will "Monster's Ball" Rokos. Those two are also exec producing the show along with Barry "Barry Levinson" Levinson and Christina Wayne, who used to be an exec at AMC. Not a bad bit of talent for the network's first show out the gate.

So, what's the gist of Copper? Set in 19th century New York, the show follows an Irish cop and explores the immigrant communities of the time period. That's an interesting and bold choice, given that period dramas typically include a hefty price tag. Still, at least it's not a modern cop/forensic/hospital drama. That's what TNT is for.

Of course, the trick will be to attract enough eyeballs to make the show a success. The cable landscape is bursting with creativity these days, but that also means it's harder than ever to catch viewers' attention. I mean, Cinemax is premiering a scripted series this summer that isn't softcore porn. O brave new world...
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