BBC America ventured into original scripted programming with its new series Copper, which premiered on the network Sunday night. Despite facing heavy competition from established cable shows Breaking Bad and The Newsroom in the same timeslot, the period drama managed to garner a respectable showing, with 1.1 million viewers tuning in.
It's a solid number for a network's first foray into creating original dramas, coming surprisingly close to matching Doctor Who's record-holding sixth season premiere, which garnered 1.28 million viewers when it premiered last April.
In a statement released on Tuesday, a spokesman for BBC America said, "This is a great result for BBC America, as our distribution continues to grow -- now approaching 80 million homes. The response to Copper has been tremendous and we’re off to a promising start.”
Will Copper follow the example of other cable channels and order a second season soon, or will it wait until the end of the season to determine that? The answer to that question is, of course, up in the air, though it seems likely that the network will wait to see if the viewers stick around before signing onto a second year of the series.
Copper tells the story of an Irish policeman in 1860s New York, who struggles to keep the piece while working to invetigate the disappearance of his wife and the death of his daughter.
Copper won't be the only original BBC America programming for long. Next year will see the cable network bringing a miniseries adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's classic novel The Three Musketeers.
Did you tune into Copper? What did you think? Will you be tuning in again on Sunday?
Copper's second episode, "Husbands and Fathers," will premiere August 26 on BBC America.