BBC AMERICA’S HIGHEST RATED ORIGINAL DRAMA COPPER RETURNS FOR AN EXPLOSIVE SECOND SEASON
Donal Logue, Alfre Woodard, Eamonn Walker, Lee Tergesen and others join the ensemble cast in the 1860’s New York City Saga
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 series Doctor Who, award-winning mini-series, Luther, and upcoming programs: In The Flesh, Being Human, Broadchurch, Burton and Taylor, The Musketeers, Man Who Would Be Bond and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
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
EPISODE THREE – THE CHILDREN OF THE BATTLEFIELD – SUNDAY JULY 7, 10:00PM ET/PT
Corcoran closes in on the parties responsible for the kidnapping and murder of young Five Points men. As the pressure to capture the culprits grows, he is forced to choose between fealty to the badge and loyalty to loved ones. Francis Maguire embraces his new position in the underworld, rapidly climbing the ladder of New York City’s criminal elite. Robert Morehouse and Elizabeth Haverford exchange vows – though the evening will prove to be nothing like either anticipated.
Written by: Kevin Deiboldt Directed by: Larysa Kondracki Guest Star: Andrew Howard as James O’Rourke
EPISODE FOUR – I DEFY THEE TO FORGET – SUNDAY JULY 14, 10:00PM ET/PT
The Sixth Precinct’s search for the killer of a fellow officer is derailed as Annie Reilly creates a rift in the Corcoran home. Meanwhile, Madame Eva Heissen – attempting to preserve a secret she has carried for months – discovers an unlikely ally in General Brendan Donovan. Elizabeth Morehouse soothes her troubled conscience by aiding the Freemans in their quest for Sara’s mother and Francis Maguire finds himself crossing paths with his old friends – to surprising results.
Written by: Tom Fontana and Thomas Kelly Directed by: Ken Girotti Guest Star: Lee Tergesen as Philomen Keating, Andrew Howard as James O’Rourke
EPISODE FIVE – A MORNING SONG– SUNDAY JULY 21, 10:00PM ET/PT
Five Points falls into a state of panic as a community safe haven is seized by one of the deadliest men in New York City. With both coppers and civilians at the mercy of a brilliant but unstable force, Detectives Kevin Corcoran and Andrew O’Brien, with Doctor Matthew Freeman and several coppers, race against time to restore peace to the Sixth Ward. As the coppers defend their home against an unrelenting foe, Francis Maguire sees an opportunity to settle a score with Corcoran.
Written by: Kyle Bradstreet and Will Rokos Directed by: Larysa Kondracki Guest Star: Lee Tergesen as Philomen Keating, Andrew Howard as James O’Rourke
EPISODE SIX – TO ONE SHORTLY TO DIE – SUNDAY JULY 28, 10:00PM ET/PT
A murder demands Detective Kevin Corcoran work closely with an unlikely partner as General Brendan Donovan is eager to close the case cleanly. Meanwhile, Robert Morehouse makes a difficult decision regarding the trial of Kennedy, leading to a surprising change in the proceedings. With spring on the horizon, the Freemans welcome a loved one back into their arms and home; while Madame Eva Heissen and Ellen Corcoran discover shared secrets they both wrestle to keep hidden.
Written by: Tom Fontana and Kevin Deiboldt Directed by: Clark Johnson Guest Star: Alfre Woodard as Hattie Lemaster
EPISODE SEVEN – THE HOPE TOO BRIGHT TO LAST – SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 10:00PM ET/PT
In his investigation, Detective Kevin Corcoran finds himself at an unusual dead end. Doctor Matthew Freeman is faced with the outbreak of a new and troubling illness sweeping Five Points. While Elizabeth tries to help with the Morehouse business, General Brendan Donovan enlists Madame Eva Heissen to gain leverage within his own affairs.
Written by: Thomas Kelly Directed by: Nathan Morlando Guest Star: Alfre Woodard as Hattie Lemaster
EPISODE EIGHT – ASHES DENOTE THAT FIRE WAS – SUNDAY AUGUST 18, 10:00PM ET/PT
The greater COPPER family – Uptown and Five Points alike – gather around Detective Kevin Corcoran, who is reeling from a shocking loss. In a quest to cure the illness sweeping Five Points on a grander scale, Doctor Matthew Freeman steps beyond his role as physician. Robert Morehouse finds himself fighting to ensure that a tumultuous chapter of his past is dead and buried, and that he and his loved ones lives will continue to thrive.
Written by: Kyle Bradstreet and Tom Fontana Directed by: Deborah Chow Guest Star: Alfre Woodard as Hattie Lemaster
EPISODE NINE – THINK GENTLY OF THE ERRING – SUNDAY AUGUST 25, 10:00PM ET/PT
Returning to the Precinct, Detective Kevin Corcoran is staggered when he discovers a new investigation has one close to him in chains. Racing to free his friend, Corcoran seeks help from those in power. However, General Brendan Donovan is consumed by an upcoming, major political and business move. Meanwhile, Doctor Matthew Freeman approaches Robert Morehouse to suggest a joint effort to aid the city.
Written by: Kevin Deiboldt and Will Rokos Directed by: Clement Virgo Guest Star: Alfre Woodard as Hattie Lemaster
NEW EPISODES RUN THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22
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 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.
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.
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 is 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 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.
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 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.
(Information provided courtesy of BBC America.)