While I've admittedly only seen a few episodes of Copper yet, on a first view it seems to be basically the Americans' Ripper Street (or Ripper Street the British Copper, however you want it). While they have differences in their specific realizations and story compositions, they seem to share quite some motifs in their general setting:
- Period crime shows set in similar time periods with remarkable significance for their individual settings' cultures (Victorian London vs Civil War New York).
- Set in infamously rough and run-down parts of the city (Whitechapel vs Five Points).
- An honest cop who's lost his daughter and is about to lose his wife.
- An outsider as pathologist (an American with a shady past vs a black man operating inofficially).
- The repeated involvement of a brothel and its madam in the cases.
- Even the intros share quite some similarities (though Copper's is notably "rougher").
Seeing that both are produced by branches of BBC this doesn't seem much like a coincidence. But given that they were more or less released around the same time it is hard to pinpoint who inspired whom here, if any at all, or if there even was any bidirectional fertilization.
So first of all, is there any secured evidence that both those shows influenced each other in any way or are they really just products of their zeitgeist and the current trend in period shows? If yes, then who influenced whom and to which degree? Or were they even mutually influenced by each other in some parts? Or was there even a direct intention by the BBC to produce two vastly similar period crime shows for both markets in the first place?