One of the pilots I've been curious about for more than a year now is ABC's remake of the BBC series Life on Mars, which followed a police officer who found himself somehow transported to 1973. The remake, which David E. Kelley was writing and producing, was originally expected to be considered for the current TV season — but Kelley had trouble finding a man to play his lead character, so the pilot was never made.
Fast-forward a year. Jason O'Mara (at left), most recently seen as the brain tumor/bear attack guy on Grey's Anatomy, has been cast as officer Sam Tyler, the pilot has been filmed, and all is going well. In fact, ABC is reportedly close to giving the show a spot on its schedule ahead of next week's upfronts.
Oh, except there's one more problem: Now Kelley might leave, and since he owns the U.S. rights to the show, its future is mostly up to him. One option has the October Road team coming on to run the show, which makes my stomach feel a bit queasy; I've seen several episodes of the original Life on Mars, and while Kelley might not be the perfect fit to write a remake, I think he's closer than the Road folks.
After all of this, I'm wondering if Life on Mars is even a show people want to see. I wasn't familiar with O'Mara until his recent Grey's arc, and he bugged me there — but that could have been the character's fault, not his. Would you want to watch more of him? Does the concept interest you? And, if you've seen the original, do you think the show could work in the U.S.? To watch the BBC's original trailer, just read more.