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BBC America is breaking into the original programming game with a period drama titled Copper, the network announced Thursday morning at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

The series centers on a young Irish police officer who lives in New York City in the 1860s. He'll have to learn to navigate the various communities, ranging from the Irish of the Five Points neighborhood to Manhattan high society to the nascent black community in Harlem.

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"The show maintains our U.K. connectivity in a bold and smart way," BBC America General Manager Perry Simon told reporters. He said he didn't want the channel's first original scripted series to fall into the cliché of "a London cop who gets transferred to Las Vegas." The cast will come from both sides of the pond.

Tom Fontana (OZ) and Will Rokos (Southland) are co-creators and will executive-produce alongside Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and Christina Wayne (Broken TrailMad Men).

The 10-episode season will begin production in Toronto this fall. Copper will premiere in the summer of 2012.