James Hibberd
July 28, 2011 AT 05:25 PM EDT

After expertly repackaging UK content for years, BBC America just announced its first original scripted series: A New York City crime drama, with a twist.

Copper is about an Irish immigrant patrolling the streets of New York — in 1860 (sort of Gangs of New York meets NYPD Blue). The character has to navigate the unruly Five Points Irish neighborhood, while also navigating uptown Manhattan high society and the emerging black community in Harlem.

Veteran writer Tom Fontana (Oz, Homicide, St. Elsewhere) will head up the writing-producing duties on the ambitious show, with 10 episodes planned for next summer.

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