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"We've Seen it Ten Times or More": ABC Pushes "Life on Mars" to Midseason

Expect Sam Tyler to travel back in time a little later than originally expected.

In an unsurprising move (I've been waiting for weeks for this announcement), ABC has opted to push the US adaptation of drama Life on Mars to midseason, allowing executive producer David E. Kelley more time to, you know, cast the lead actor. (They had only managed so far to cast Rachelle Lefevre as Annie.)

"After a thorough search, we still haven't been able to find the right actor for this role," Kelley was quoted as saying. "Life on Mars is a project whose success relies heavily on the strength of its lead actors, and rather than compromise we prefer to keep looking and shoot for midseason."

Having read the script earlier this weekend (coincidental, no?), I can't say that I am all that excited by a US adaptation of Life on Mars, a brilliant series about a contemporary police detective on the trail of a serial killer who finds himself, after a car accident involving the freeway, an iPod, and some killer David Bowie tunes, in the 1970s.

I can't say that Kelley's script diverges much from the BBC original enough to warrant this sort of treatment nor does the substitution of 1970s Los Angeles for 1970s Manchester make this the home run that ABC is hoping it is.

Do yourself a favor and try to catch the original version of Life on Mars, starring Jon Simm, Philip Glenister, and Liz White, as soon as humanly possible.


TxGowan said…
I loved Life on Mars when it aired last year and cannot wait for the next season to begin. Why the heck isn't it available on Region 1 DVD? Come to think of it, why the heck do they even still have DVD regions? Anyway, I can't say I'm gung-ho about an Americanized version either. I'm not sure the differences in police procedure have changed enough here (Miranda went into effect in 1966, for example) which I found to be more of the meat of the series than the trappings of fashion, music, etc.
Anonymous said…
yup - I've been waiting for the official announcement, too. Ah, DEK - what has happened to you?
The CineManiac said…
I have to agree with Ally, didn't Kelley used to create good, original shows?
I love Life on Mars, as it's one of the many great shows being created by the Brits right now.
Initially I was excited about an American version, but the longer it takes for it to come out, the more I come to realize it's a bad idea. And if it's taking Kelley this long to adapt the show, it can't be a good sign.
Anonymous said…
I was trying to keep an open mind about the American version of "Mars" (being such a huge fan of the American "Office") but the more I hear about it the more disppointed I become. Think I'll have to stick with the brilliant Brit original.
Anonymous said…
The Yank version of the Office was brilliant because what was added was Americanisms for a US audience. I'm a Limey, but they showed it over here and I thought it was very good.
A Life On Mars in the US could be just as good, but comparing 70s Manchester to 70s LA doesn't seem like the right decision to me. Wouldn't Detroit or Pittsburg be a better location?

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