EXCLUSIVE: The BBC America series ends Sunday but Copper may get a second life on the big screen. One day after the network announced that the Civil War-era series would be cancelled after two seasons, I’ve learned that co-creator/executive producer Tom Fontana and fellow EPs Barry Levinson and Tom Kelly are considering a movie version. The extensive story arc work Fontana did on a third season has the veteran producer eyeing revamping the material for a movie, sources say, with the potential big-screen version said to look at examining life in America after the death of Abraham Lincoln and the years of Reconstruction. Copper, which Fontana co-created with Will Rokos, was BBC America’s first original scripted series and centers on Irish immigrant cop Kevin Corcoran in 1860s New York City. It premiered in August 2012 with 1.1 million total viewers, the largest audience ever for a BBC America series debut. Copper was renewed last October but lost momentum after its June 23 Season 2 premiere.
There will be no third season for BBC’s period drama Copper, whose second-season finale this Sunday will be a series finale. Copper, BBC America‘s first original scripted series, got off to a strong start, setting a record for a BBC America series premiere. But, despite a cast infusion with Donal Logue and Alfre Woodard joining the series in Season 2, Copper lost momentum and was overshadowed by BBC America’s second drama series, the buzzy Orphan Black. “Copper has been a fascinating and exciting experience for everyone involved,” said BBC America GM Perry Simon. “The opportunity to work with (executive producers) Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson, Will Rokos, Thomas Kelly and the extraordinary cast and crew on this journey is one that we are extremely proud of. Their vision to re-tell the immigrant experience through the melting pot of New York City was an original and fresh idea that melded well with the essence of BBC America’s programming. After 23 episodes, with Lincoln dead and the nation starting to heal, it seems a fitting moment to conclude this American story.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: LoveFilm Brings ‘Copper’ To UK Via Stream; Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi Launch AMBI Pictures; More
‘Copper’ Will Make UK Debut Streaming On LoveFilm
LoveFilm has acquired UK rights to Cineflix series Copper. The series follows Vikings as the second to debut in the UK exclusively via the streaming service, bypassing traditional broadcasters. Netflix competitor LoveFilm will make the show available for streaming starting Friday. Tom Weston-Jones, Kyle Schmid and Anastasia Griffith star in the period police drama co-created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos. Copper airs on BBC America in the U.S.
Alfre Woodard is joining BBC America’s Copper as recurring. Set in 1865 New York City, Copper returns for a second season on the brink of Lincoln’s assassination — with shifts in politics and society altering the landscape for Irish immigrants and African-Americans. ICM Partners-repped Woodard will play Hattie Lemaster, a former slave who has recently arrived to the Five Points to start anew. Jarred by raucous city life, Hattie must reconcile her past against hope for a future.
The third season of AMC‘s The Killing will kick off with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, June 2 at 8 PM. The new season, which stars Mireille Enos (Sarah Linden) and Joel Kinnaman (Stephen Holder) along with new cast members Peter Sarsgaard, Elias Koteas and Amy Seimetz, focuses on a new case, which will be resolved over the course of ten episodes, culminating with a two-hour finale.
The Office‘s David Denman is set to co-star in CBS’ Beverly Hills Cop pilot from Shawn Ryan, Eddie Murphy and Sony Pictures TV. The hourlong project, a continuation of the movie franchise, centers on Axel Foley’s police officer son Aaron (Brandon T. Jackson), who takes down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Denman will play Brad, a stand-up, extremely likable and socially awkward Beverly Hills detective, formerly a baseball player and a musician. Denman, repped by UTA, the Hofflund Co and attorney James Adams, will next be seen in the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS and M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth.
Erin Jontow was Senior Director, Scripted Development & Programming and spent the past year developing BBC America‘s first scripted original series Copper, which was just renewed for a second season. In her new role she will oversee development and production of scripted originals, including Season 2 of Copper and Orphan Black, as well as seek out scripted co-productions and acquisitions. She will continue to report to SVP Programming Richard De Croce.
BBC America has made it official, renewing its first original scripted series, Copper, for a second season. The news comes ahead of the period drama’s Season 1 finale Sunday. The channel has ordered 13 episodes for Copper, which is produced by Cineflix Studios, vs. 10 for its freshman season. It marked BBC America and Cineflix’s first original scripted series. “Copper has proven to be a perfect fit for the channel,” said Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America.
The series, which centers on an Irish immigrant cop (Tom Weston-Jones) in 1864 New York, premiered in August with 1.1 million total viewers, the largest audience ever for a BBC America series debut. It is the network’s highest-rated drama to date, averaging over one million viewers a week. The series is created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos. Season one executive producers include Barry Levinson, Fontana, Rokos, Christina Wayne, Jim Finnerty, Sherri Rufh, Sam Berliner, Sally Catto and Katherine Buck. In addition to Copper returning in 2013, BBC America’s second original scripted series Orphan Black, starring Tatiana Maslany, is set to premiere in Spring 2013.
ICM Partners has signed Dublin-born Irish actor Kevin Ryan, who co-stars in the new BBC America series Copper. He’s new to these shores, and signed with ICM’s David Unger and Mosaic’s Paul Nelson and Tory Howard and attorney David Matlof. While Copper is about Irish cops, Ryan is really the only Irish actor in the cast. Ryan, who moved to LA to take the job, previously starred in the RTE One TV drama Raw and played pop icon JJ Fitzgerald in Songs For Amy.
Copper is going worldwide. Fox International Channels and Cineflix Studios have an agreement to show the upcoming BBC America Civil War era drama in Australia, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal as well as across Latin America and the continent of Africa. The 10-episodes of Copper, which is BBC America’s first scripted commission and Cineflix Studios’ first scripted order, will debut internationally in the fall. Premiering on BBC America on August 19, Copper tells the tale of an Irish immigrent who becomes a New York City policeman during the turmoil of the 1860s. Tom Fontana and Will Rokos created the series. The duo executive produce the show as does Barry Levinson and Christina Wayne, President of Cineflix Studios. Tom Weston-Jones plays the lead character and is joined in the cast by Franka Potente, Kyle Schmid, and Anastasia Griffith.
RELATED: BBC America on ‘Copper’: TCA
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
For its first-ever foray into original scripted series, BBC America made a surprising choice in centering the show on the period in America during the Civil War rather than a subject impacting the other side of the pond. The new show, Copper, premieres on Aug, 19 and carries a first rate pedigree, produced by no less than Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man) and Tom Fontana (Oz, Homicide: Life On The Street). It tells the tale of a brutal Irish immigrant cop (played by Tom Weston-Jones) in New York City and his unique sways of meting out justice in the notorious immigrant neighborhood of Five Points, Rather than a western, Copper is dubbed as more of an “eastern” saga. During a TCA session late this morning, Levinson said, “Here’s the BBC excited to do a piece about America and its history, whereas a (broadcast) network would be much more reluctant to go down that road. What you might consider a foreign company was fascinated with this story”. Added Fontana: “The fact that this is BBC America’s first foray into scripted programming means a lot to us. (BBC America GM) Perry Simon has been incredibly supportive and is also incredibly hungry for this to work. I remember also doing HBO’s first scripted drama with Oz, and that’s very intoxicating, especially for a jaded old idiot like me”.
EXCLUSIVE: British actor Tom Weston-Jones (MI5) has landed the lead in Copper, BBC America’s first original scripted series. Franka Potente (Run Lola Run, The Bourne Identity) and Tessa Thompson (For Colored Girls) will co-star in the drama co-created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos, joining previously cast Anastasia Griffith. It centers on a young Irish cop (Weston-Jones) operating in the immigrant communities of 19th century New York. In her first series regular role, Potente, repped by Gersh and Thruline, will play the cunning and cutthroat Eva who runs a brothel and has a layered relationship with the cop. Thompson, repped by Greene & Assoc., will play Sara, a doctor’s wife whose brothers were lynched by a group of Irish during riots and will do what she has to do to protect her own. Copper, from Canadian-based Cineflix Studios, is executive produced by Fontana, Rokos, Barry Levinson and Christina Wayne. Weston-Jones recently wrapped the Tandem/Scott Free $44 million eight-hour miniseries World Without End.
EXCLUSIVE: Anastasia Griffith, who recurs on ABC’s Once Upon A Time, has landed a co-starring role in BBC America’s first scripted series, drama Copper. The 10-episode series, from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, is produced by Canadian-based Cineflix Studios. Co-created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos, Copper centers on an Irish cop operating in the immigrant communities of 19th century New York, a role that has not been cast yet. British actress Griffith, repped by Paradigm, Untitled and UK’s Ken McReddie Assoc., will play his wife. Fontana, Rokos, Barry Levinson and Cineflix’s Christina Wayne are executive producing the series, which is slated to begin production at the end of January. Griffith, who plays a woman locked into a love triangle with Snow White and Prince Charming on Once Upon A Time, also has been recurring on USA’s Royal Pains. She previously co-starred on NBC’s Trauma and FX’s Damages.
Cineflix Studios, the scripted division of Canadian producer Cineflix Media, is opening a Los Angeles office with the hire of Playtone development executive Miura Kite as EVP. She will join on November 7 and report to Cinefix Studios president Christina Wayne. Two weeks ago, another Playtone executive, Peter Friedlander, landed a top acquisition post at Netflix. As Head of Development at Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone, Kite oversaw television and film projects. She was co-producer on HBO’s miniseries The Pacific and the upcoming film Game Change. She also served as development executive on Where The Wild Things Are, five seasons of the HBO series Big Love, Mamma Mia!, the miniseries John Adams, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Polar Express. She previously worked for for Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella’s Mirage Enterprises and Jonathan Demme’s Clinica Estetico. Cineflix Studios’ first U.S. series, Copper, was greenlighted earlier this year by BBC America.