Fans of the Brit hit “Life On Mars” know what an amazing story the original series told. So when successful television producer David E. Kelley screwed up the US port of the show for ABC, we were legitimately worried that the American version would never get made. But fear not, executives at ABC have more confidence in the idea behind “Life on Mars” than they did in Kelley. So they’ve handed it off to a new team who is starting from the top, without even watching the original pilot to see what mistakes to avoid (of course, that’s not how they put it).
One of the major changes being made is that more powerful acting chops have been brought in. Names normally associated with the big screen, will instead be heating up your television and bringing their abilities to these powerful roles. I’m particularly looking forward to Harvey Keitel as Lt. Gene Hunt and you can put Gretchen Mol in anything and I’m there. Gretchen Mol boiling water, Emmy material as far as I’m concerned.
Also changed is the ending of the series. First, I’m sure Disney will want more than two seasons out of “Life On Mars” if it’s a hit. The BBC has the sand to just run two seasons if that’s all the story requires. Second, they’ve changed how the show will end. Which, as it turns out, was my chief complaint about the original British version. So color me very happy.
For more on the retooling check out this great article in the LA Times.