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Troubled Life on Mars Adaptation Could Have Life on ABC

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



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Beastiegirl5 Beastiegirl5 8 years
Okay...I thought this guy looked familiar. I too am a huge fan of the BBC Life on Mars. John Simm as Sam Tyler was fantastic, and I hope this new guy can pull off the emotion Sam felt of being torn between "worlds." The BBC spinoff "Ashes to Ashes" has a female lead in a similar situation, and she definitely doesn't do as well. It detracts from the show- you really need to relate the main character to care. By my big worry is the casting of Transporter Chief O'Brien (sorry, I mean Colm Meany) as Hunt. The Brit they had is fantastic- he's not appealing at first, but he's so manly that you can't help but to like him. In this US version, he just looks old. I hope this can hold up. I'll definitely give it a try. I can assure you, the premise is awesome, and if they stick the BBC story, the first season is especially awesome and full of twists!
mirawilliams mirawilliams 8 years
The problem is, John Simm and Philip Glenister (sp?) really made the show. The supporting cast was also crucial. So the US version is not only going to have to cast really well, the cast is going to need some awesome chemistry. It also doesn't hel that Simm is very, very appealing.
skiwi skiwi 8 years
does anyone else Jason O'Mara is kinda good looking? I don't know...I saw him on Grey's and I was kind of intrigued haha
geohiker geohiker 8 years
I also loved the BBC version (and was a little disappointed by the ending); it could be interesting to see a US version, but shows in the US are not designed to just wrap up in two seasons (as the BBC did) and I think it would be tough to drag out the story much longer than that.
Food Food 8 years
I liked the BBC version, although I wasn't so sure about the series ender, but as a concept it was really cool. I don't know if I want a remake... okay i don't want a remake. but if they do one, it would definitely have to be the right actor. and who knows, it might work. Having said that, I don't know this guy, but he looks a bit smarmy in that pic, so i'm going to have to say no.
anniekim anniekim 8 years
I highly recommend watching the BBC Life on Mars. The lead actor, John Simm, does a fabulous job balancing charm and intensity that will be difficult to match. To be fair I didn't think anyone could fill Tim/Martin Freeman's shoes on the BBC the Office when the US remake was in the works. I'd like to see this show as a US remake, but is the right actor O'Mara? I only saw him on Men in Trees and he was okay, but not so appealing (which may have been the character).
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
I, too, am not familiar with Jason O'Mara's work, but he does look as though he fits the role. Could be an interesting project, but then I'm a sucker for dramas of this sort.
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