BBC America are finally dipping their toe into producing original television shows, rather than show imported programming from the UK and repeat US shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Rejoice!
Their first project will be a New York crime drama set in 1860 called Copper, following an Irish immigrant who works as a policeman. The series is therefore covering ground Martin Scorsese explored in his movie Gangs Of New York, which told the story of how the Big Apple was born, with particular attention on the unruly "Five Points" Irish neighbourhood.
Tom Fonzana (Oz, Homicide) will be writing and producing the 10 episodes, which are planned for summer 2012. Considering the network, one would assume this will be aired on the regular BBC shortly after its US premiere.
What do you think? Is BBC America original programming a win-win situation? American audiences get something homegrown that adheres to BBC ideals, while British audiences get something expensive with US production values? I wonder if British writers/directors will be able to hop across the pond and have fun working on an expensive BBC America show? If so, will there be a mass exodus of UK talent to the States? Or will BBC America recruit from within—meaning, really, that there's no difference between an original BBC America show and whatever another US cable channel like AMC is making?