COPPER, an American saga set in 1865 New York City, 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. At the center, Detective Kevin Corcoran struggles to tame the wartime metropolis while wrestling with personal demons, including the betrayal of his wife and best friend. And when Tammany Hall’s outspoken General Brendan Donovan, returns from the Civil War to restore law and order in the Sixth Ward, loyalties will be bought and sold both uptown and in the slums of the Five Points as Corcoran, and those around him, fight to find their places in an unforgiving city. COPPER premieres Sunday, June 23, 10:00pm ET/PT.
Twitter: @BBCAMERICA #CopperTV
New York, 1865. On the brink of Lincoln’s assassination, political shifts are reshaping the country and in Five Points, immigrants are vying for power, control and a piece of the American dream. Welcome back to COPPER, BBC AMERICA’s highest rated original drama from the brilliant minds of Emmy®-winner Tom Fontana, Academy Award®-winner Barry Levinson, Academy Award®-nominee Will Rokos, Cineflix Studios President, Christina Wayne and new addition, Thomas Kelly (Blue Bloods). With thirteen all-new episodes, return to the unforgiving city that knows no limits, Sunday, June 23, 10:00pm ET/PT. At the center of the saga, Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones, World Without End, MI-5) is struggling to tame the wartime city while wrestling with the personal demons of his wife and best friend’s betrayal. And when Tammany Hall-backed ward leader, General Brendan Donovan (Donal Logue, Vikings, Sons of Anarchy), returns from the Civil War to restore order in the Sixth Ward, loyalties will be bought and sold, both Uptown and in the slums of Five Points.
“This season we wanted to raise the stakes and dive into the 1860s political machine by bringing in a Boss Tweed like character to shake things up,” said Co-creator and Executive Producer, Tom Fontana. “With the addition of General Brendan Donovan, we reveal a highly volatile faction of old New York City, Tammany Hall, and sink our characters into storylines including, counterfeiting, illegal Union Army recruitment, the 13th amendment and its ramifications for “freed” slaves, public health hazards and more. By making the universe a little fuller, it gave us a chance to breathe new life into the history of this great city.”
Executive Producer, Thomas Kelly adds: “19th Century New York City is a fascinating place to tell stories. Five Points was the crucible of the great human experiment with pluralistic Democracy, and by the 1860’s, all of the different tribes in the City were fighting for the American dream. It was survival of the fittest and a constant struggle was waged to determine who was going to run the city.”
At the end of last season, Corcoran left his best friend and partner, Detective Francis Maguire (Kevin Ryan, Tripping Tommy, RAW), for dead after learning of his affair with his wife; his former war comrade and wealthy industrialist, Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid, Arrow, Being Human), thwarted the plot by Confederate spies to burn the city; and Corcoran’s secret weapon in forensics, Doctor Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh, Django Unchained, Elementary), was preparing to start a family with his wife Sara (Tessa Thompson, For Colored Girls, Veronica Mars) leaving behind the demons of her brothers’ lynching during the slum’s draft riots.
One year later, we find our characters grappling with the harsh realities of their decisions. Historic changes are taking shape in 1865 America. President Abraham Lincoln is re-elected, leaving Southern radicals to stew, the 13th Amendment is passed and the Civil-War rages on. As immigrants and African-Americans continue to flood New York City, our characters are immersed in a world of vice, political corruption and incessant greed. Amidst the chaos of their worlds, an arresting figure returns to clean up The Points and reassert himself as one of the most influential and powerful men in the city's political machine.Brendan Donovan, a brigadier General from the battlefields of the Civil War, is back to claim his place as a ward leader and gain the power necessary to raise the immigrant population out of the doldrums. Self-educated with book and street smarts, his rise through Tammany Hall as one of Boss Tweed’s most trusted lieutenants was hard won. Every bit as cunning and shrewd as any Uptown businessman, he’s an expert at maneuvring and manipulating any given situation to his advantage. A former copper and current entrepreneur, Donovan knows all too well the troubles his people suffer and sees political power as a way out. As he manipulates the likes of the Morehouses, and empowers those in The Points, every advantage to advance his agenda is exploited. And with Irish immigrants looked upon as the dregs of society and “freed” slaves just hoping to make it through the day without incident, the fight to amass power in a neighborhood filled with dread will be wrought with conflict. Donovan will enlist Corcoran’s aid in cleaning up the precinct’s image, and teach him that power and respect is the only way to shake the reprobation of the elite.
With Donovan’s presence, Corcoran sees a chance to make a difference in his ward. Now that Corcoran’s wife Ellen (Alex Paxton-Beesley, Alphas, The Firm) has returned, his affair with Madame Eva Heissen (Franka Potente, American Horror Story, The Bourne Supremacy) is over and he’s fighting to return to a sense of normalcy. However, his loyalty to the badge and his love/hate relationship with The Points often puts him back in familiar territory – away from home.
Uptown, Morehouse is engaged to widowed Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith, Damages, Covert Affairs) and deeply in love. But his fiancé’s duplicitous acts threaten to destroy his world and new hero-status among the community elite. In Carmansville, Doctor Freeman is called back to Five Points by his mentor and teacher, with an opportunity to take over his office. With wife Sara refusing to return to the place she calls “hell,” they’ll have to make a hard choice.
Appearing this season is multiple award-winning actress, Alfre Woodard (Twelve Years a Slave, Steel Magnolias), as Hattie Lemaster, a former slave recently arrived to Five Points to start anew with her daughter Sara Freeman. Jarred by raucous city life, Hattie must learn what the true meaning of “freedom” is in the North. She’ll find herself conflicted with the road ahead and unsure of her place in the claustrophobic environment. Also joining the cast are Eamonn Walker(Chicago Fire,Oz) as legendary abolitionist leader, Frederick Douglass; Lee Tergesen (Army Wives,Oz) as Philomen Keating, a wickedly intelligent criminal mastermind whose tendency for dramatic flair is offset by a penchant for brutality and Andrew Howard (Hatfields and McCoys) as James O'Rourke, the physically intimidating yet shrewdly observant manager of a budding criminal organization.
COPPER is a Cineflix (Copper 2) Inc. production in association with BBC AMERICA and Shaw Media. Executive producers for Cineflix include: Christina Wayne, Sherri Rufh, Lynn Van Rooyen, Andrew Porporino, Katherine Buck and Sam Berliner.
COPPER is part of BBC AMERICA’s continuing commitment to drama including the channel’s recently launched original sci-fi series, Orphan Black, the Peabody-winning seriesDoctor Who, award-winning mini-series, Luther, andupcoming programs: In The Flesh, Being Human, Broadchurch, Burton and Taylor, TheMusketeers, Man Who Would Be Bond and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
Contact: Kelly Caton, Director, Publicity, 212 705 9515, Kelly.Caton@bbc.com
THIS SEASON ON COPPER:
EPISODE ONE – HOME, SWEET HOME – SUNDAY JUNE 23, 10:00PM ET/PT
February 5, 1865. Five Points remains a bedlam. Young men are dying and disappearing at an alarming rate and a career criminal is terrorizing the Sixth Ward. With pressures from Tammany Hall raining down upon the police force, Detective Kevin Corcoran and the coppers of the Sixth Ward must follow the guidance of returned ward leader, General Brendan Donovan. Meanwhile, Doctor Matthew Freeman visits his mentor and is presented with an attractive offer that will cause a rift in his marriage. Uptown, Robert Morehouse and Elizabeth Haverford make plans for their wedding and Confederate spy Kennedy’s execution. In the tombs, Francis Maguire is set to learn his fate.
Written by: Will Rokos and Tom Fontana Directed by: Larysa Kondracki
EPISODE TWO – AILEEN AROON – SUNDAY JUNE 30, 10:00PM ET/PT
As more corpses of young men are found and others continue to disappear, Corcoran leaves no stone unturned in his search for answers. General Brendan Donovan employs unseemly tactics to keep the murders out of the press. Meanwhile, as Sara readies herself to attend a dinner with Frederick Douglass at the Morehouse mansion, Doctor Matthew Freeman makes a drastic decision for the health of his community – forcing her to confront her past. With his fate decided, Maguire must fend for himself and realign his allegiances.
Written by: Kyle Bradstreet Directed by: Larysa Kondracki Guest Star: Eamonn Walker as Frederick Douglass
NEW EPISODES RUN THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22. REMAINING EPISODE SYNOPSES TO BE RELEASED AT A LATER DATE.
CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Detective Kevin Corcoran Tom Weston-Jones
General Brendan Donovan Donal Logue
Madame Eva Heissen Franka Potente
Robert Morehouse Kyle Schmid
Elizabeth Haverford Anastasia Griffith
Doctor Matthew Freeman Ato Essandoh
Sara Freeman Tessa Thompson
Detective Francis Maguire Kevin Ryan
Detective Andrew O’Brien Dylan Taylor
Ellen Corcoran Alex Paxton-Beesley
Annie Reilly Kiara Glasco
Hattie Lemaster Alfre Woodard
Frederick Douglass Eamonn Walker
Philomen Keating Lee Tergesen
James O’Rourke Andrew Howard
Created by Tom Fontana
Executive producers Barry Levinson
Lynn Van Rooyen
COPPER is a Cineflix (Copper 2) Inc. production in association with BBC AMERICA.
DETECTIVE KEVIN CORCORAN (Tom Weston-Jones)
Irish-American detective Kevin Corcoran’s life is in shambles. Obsessed with the job, and disgusted by his wife’s betrayal, life on the beat is the only place he finds solace. With his best-friend Francis Maguire locked up in the tombs for murdering people in the wake of his affair with Corcoran’s wife, Corcoran believes Maguire’s death is the only way he can move forward. Though navigating the gritty, mean streets of New York City’s notoriously crooked neighborhood gives him a sense of purpose, changes are coming that will alter his way of policing. And as political shifts allow room for new leaders, Corcoran must decide where he fits in the new landscape.
GENERAL BRENDAN DONOVAN (Donal Logue)
General Brendan Donovan immigrated to America from Ireland as a teenager and rose from the streets of New York City to become the single most powerful man in Five Points. Once a policeman and an entrepreneur with a contracting company, Donovan traded his law enforcement career for one in politics and came to power through Tammany Hall – becoming one of Boss Tweed’s most trusted lieutenants. Now, having returned from serving in the Union Army as a brigadier general, Donovan seeks to re-establish his dominion as well as bolster his mostly Irish and immigrant constituents in an effort to gain political power. He is beloved by much of the Sixth Ward’s poor who see him as a Robin Hood figure. Though his intentions are noble, his means know no bounds.
MADAME EVA HEISSEN (Franka Potente)
With a saloon and brothel located in the center of Five Points, Madame Eva Heissen is a force in the world of vice. As her Uptown business falters, she attempts to reassert herself as the number one businesswoman in the slum, pouring her energy and resources into Eva’s Paradise in Five Points. While catalysts both violent and political create new business opportunities, Eva must tread lightly to avoid the increasing risk of a misstep in the changing political landscape of The Points.
ROBERT MOREHOUSE (Kyle Schmid)
A part of the Manhattan aristocracy, and a true friend to Kevin Corcoran and Doctor Matthew Freeman, Robert Morehouse was raised in a life of privilege. Changed by the war, seeking approval from his father, Norbert Morehouse, was his Achilles heel. After uncovering his father’s role in the plot to destroy New York City, things have changed and Morehouse now finds himself in an empty home, into which he invites Elizabeth Haverford. But his love for the socialite will leave him faced with a difficult decision that threatens to bring his own brand of morality into question. And as he delves into the complexity of what was his father’s empire, Morehouse must discover his own ruthlessness in order to maintain the family’s legacy.
ELIZABETH HAVERFORD (Anastasia Griffith)
Elizabeth Haverfordis sophisticated, spirited and intoxicatingly beautiful – all traits her new beau, Robert Morehouse, loves about her. As her relationship with him grows, she worries her misguided involvement with the plot to burn New York City will ruin her new life and land her in prison. As Elizabeth struggles to keep her past deeds secret, her guilt overwhelms and leaves her with a new found addiction.
DOCTOR MATTHEW FREEMAN (Ato Essandoh)
Doctor Matthew Freeman is an African-American physician who served in the war with Robert Morehouse and Detective Kevin Corcoran. Devoted to his wife Sara, Freeman is forced to make a difficult decision between his calling as a physician and his concern for Sara’s well-being. When the doctor’s protective nature transcends his private life, catapulting him back to the sides of Corcoran and Morehouse, Sara will have to decide where she wants to be.
SARA FREEMAN (Tessa Thompson)
As Sara Freeman strives to leave behind the demons of her brother’s untimely deaths during the draft riots and carve a new future, the worlds of both Five Points and Uptown infiltrate her life – forcing an accelerated transition. As she glimpses her place in the broader world, Sara realizes she may need to resort to drastic action to reclaim her strength.
FRANCIS MAGUIRE (Kevin Ryan)
Francis Maguire was Detective Kevin Corcoran’s closest friend and partner in the Sixth Precinct. He feebly assisted Corcoran in his search for his missing wife, Ellen, while hiding the truth of their affair and ultimately where he was hiding her – by any means necessary. Now, left to rot in The Tombs by Corcoran and the rest of the Sixth Precinct, Maguire is a man with nothing left to lose. As he awaits trial for three murders, he’ll receive an unexpected turn of circumstance that will require a shift in loyalty that sends him down a familiar path.
Tom Weston-Jones as Detective Kevin Corcoran
Tom Weston-Jones was born in Burton-Upon-Trent, England, and grew up in Dubai. After graduating from the University of London with a degree in drama and theatre, Weston-Jones trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where he performed in productions of The Good Companions, The Country Wife, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, and Translations. He got his first break when he was cast in the role of Adam in director Ed Hall’s theatre production of Enlightenment. Weston-Jones’ other credits include his portrayal of a Russian Security Service Officer in the BBC’s MI-5; and the role of Merthin in the miniseries World Without End. Weston-Jones calls London, England home.
Donal Logue as General Brendan Donovan
Born in Ottawa, Canada, acclaimed actor Donal Logue attended Harvard University where he majored in Intellectual History and discovered his love for the performing arts. While in college, he appeared in more than thirty plays, worked for two summers in the American Repertory Theater’s Harvard/Radcliffe Summer Stock Company, and spent a short time doing theater in England. After graduating, Logue joined the Cornerstone Theater Company, which developed Community Theater in rural parts of the United States.
His break out role was in the independent hit film, The Tao of Steve, as the larger-than-life, philosophizing lothario for which he won a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance. His other film credits include Blade, The Runaway Bride,Reindeer Games,The Patriot, The Chateau, Comic Book Villains, Confidence, Just Like Heaven,The Groomsmen,Ghost Rider,Zodiac,Max Payne,Oliver Sherman,and Charlie St. Cloud. He will next be seen inthe independent feature CBGB about the famed New York City club, opposite Alan Rickman and Malin Akerman.
Logue’s recent television credits include the FX Network’s Sons of Anarchy and History Channel’s Vikings. Additional television credits include FX Network series Terriers, Life,The Knights of Prosperity, ER, and Grounded for Life.
Franka Potente as Madame Eva Heissen
Hailed by critics as “charismatic” and “exhilarating”, Franka Potente consistently captivates audiences with her diverse and engaging performances. Born in Germany, Potente made her award-winning film debut in Nach Funf im Urwald, which she soon followed up with her breakthrough performance as the heroine in Tom Tykwer’s cult classic Run Lola Run. After starring in several successful movies in her native country, Potente was cast as Matt Damon’s love interest in The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, as well as Johnny Depp’s girlfriend in Blow. She has also appeared in guest starring roles on TV’s House and American Horror Story among others. Potente is a gifted writer with two collections of short stories published in her native Germany. She originally attended the Otto-Falckenberg-Schule, a drama school in Munich, but soon transferred to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York.
Kyle Schmid as Robert Morehouse
Kyle Schmid can currently be seen as Henry Durham, a young, cocksure and intelligent vampire in the Syfy series Being Human. Schmid may be best known for his starring role as vampire Henry Fitzroy on Canada’s Lifetime Television series, Blood Ties and will soon be seen in the upcoming feature film Dark Hearts.Other notable feature films include: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, Zerophilia, Adam Shankman’s The Pacifier with Vin Diesel, The Covenant,Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead and Dead Before Dawn 3D. Schmid has made guest appearances in such television series as CSI: Miami, Smallville and as the lead in the FX/FOX pilot Three Inches. He also had a recurring role as Evan Frasier in the ABC Family original series Beautiful People and co-starred in the Disney Channel Original Movies Alley Cats Strike and The Cheetah Girls. Schmid starred in The Sandy Bottom Orchestra for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance in a TV Movie” for his performance as Sam Miller. Born in Toronto, and now living in Hollywood, Schmid has been acting for the majority of his life.
Anastasia Griffith as Elizabeth Haverford
Anastasia Griffith - a British-American, London raised actress - has evolved into a talented performer with breakout roles in the critically acclaimed FX drama Damages,as the female lead on NBC’s Trauma, and numerous supporting roles in films like Solitary Man, opposite Michael Douglas and Dirty Filthy Love with Michael Sheen. Griffith most recently appeared on ABC's hit series Once Upon a Time as the unfortunate third wheel in a love triangle with Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas),and on USA Network’s hit series Royal Pains opposite Mark Feuerstein. Other credits include roles on The Cleaner, Lipstick Jungle, Law and Order: SVU, New Amsterdam, (which reunited her with co-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from the film Shadow of the Sword), as well as thetelefilm, And Baby Will Fall.
Ato Essandoh as Doctor Matthew Freeman
Ato Essandoh was born in Schenectady, New York to Ghanian parents. One day, while attending Cornell University as a chemical engineer, he was dared by a friend to take part in a stage production Paper Moon. As a result, Essandoh made his way to New York City to study at the Acting Studio under the tutelage of James Price. From there he found himself in many Off-Broadway productions including Tallboy Walking by New York playwright Joshua James, Streamers at the Roundabout Theatre, MacBeth and The Three Sisters at the Manhattan Theatre Source, Mother Courage and Her Children at the Public Theatre and Native Son at the Intiman Theatre. Essandoh has also penned his own plays, one of which, Black Thang, was produced at the Manhattan Theatre Source and subsequently published in the popular play anthology "Plays and Playwrights 2003". Essandoh enjoys a career on both the big and small screen with memorable guest starring roles in Elementary, Blue Bloods, Damages, White Collar, Royal Pains, Treme, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order, Law & Order Conviction, Lines of Fire, and Commander in Chief. Movie roles include Django Unchained, Get Him To The Greek, Nights In Rodanthe, Blood Diamond, Garden State, Prime, Hitch and Saving Face. Essandoh is a member of the theater company Colt Coeur and lives in Brooklyn.
Tessa Thompson as Sara Freeman
Tessa Thompson is a Los Angeles native who was raised part-time in Brooklyn, New York. She was drawn to the theatre at an early age, but made her professional debut, for which she received an NAACP Image Award nomination, playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans 1836 (the Theatre at Boston Court). After countless other productions, she appeared in the American premiere of David Grieg’s Pyrenees, opposite Frances Conroy and Tom Irwin, for Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. On television she has been a series regular on Veronica Mars and Hidden Palms, and has had recurring roles on Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, Private Practice, Off the Map, and Detroit 187. Other television credits include Rizzoli and Isles, Three Rivers, Life, Mental, and Cold Case. In film, Thompson starred in the multi award-winning drama Mississippi Damned, for which she was awarded a Grand Jury prize for Best Actress. She most recently starred in the film adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls (Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf) starring opposite Thandie Newton and Whoopie Goldberg. Thompson is a member of celebrated classical theatre company Antaeus and sings in the indie-soul band Caught a Ghost.
Kevin Ryan as Detective Francis Maguire
Award-winning actor Kevin Ryan was born in Dublin, Ireland to a family of eighth-generation stonecutters. Although Ryan completed his apprenticeship, his own interests leaned more towards the arts, where he harbored a love of Shakespeare, professional dancing and active sports. Ryan moved to Los Angeles, California and after several lead roles in a variety of independent movies, he was cast in his first major American role as the lead in the thriller, Tripping Tommy, directed by the award-winning director Philippe Caland. His latest feature film, the edgy Irish romantic comedy Songs for Amy, is currently in post-production. Hailed as one of Ireland's newest emerging stars, and voted one of Ireland's sexiest men for two consecutive years, Ryan can also be seen starring in the award-winning RTE One TV drama Raw.