September 19, 2013 10:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
BBC America Cancels 'Copper' After Two Seasons
BBC America won't be moving forward with Copper.
The period drama, which marked the cable network's first step into original scripted programming has been canceled after two seasons, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The move comes as little surprise, given Copper's rather modest ratings, much of the narrative wrapping up in the Sept. 22 finale and comparatively bigger buzz reserved for the network's other original commission, Orphan Black.
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"Copper has been a fascinating and exciting experience for everyone involved," said BBC America general manager Perry Simon. "The opportunity to work with 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 retell 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."
Created by Fontana and Rokos, Copper was produced for BBC America by Shaw Media and Cineflix Studios. The sophomore run of the series, which was set in Five Point, New York, saw big cast additions in Donal Logue, Alfre Woodard and Billy Baldwin -- and a transition to a more serialized form of storytelling.
"Last year we had one foot in this gritty story of New York in the 1860s and one foot in a procedural crime show format," Fontana told THR earlier in the summer.
The stateside home of British hits Doctor Who, Luther and Broadchurch, BBC America's move into originals has thus far been dominated by unscripted efforts. Though the network co-produces several efforts with U.K. studios, Orphan Black currently stands as its sole scripted commission.
News of Copper's demise comes just a few days before Orphan Black resumes production in Toronto. The second season of the Critics' Choice Award-winning drama, starring breakout Tatiana Maslany, premieres in the U.S. in April 2014, while the first run gets its U.K. debut on Sept. 20.
Canadian broadcaster Shaw Media, which co-produced Copper with BBC America, confirmed that it will also cancel the Toronto-shot drama after its second season run ends.
Copper starred Tom Weston-Jones and was executive produced by Levinson, Fontana, Rokos, Kelly and Cineflix Studios president Christina Wayne.