ABC Cancels 'Life on Mars'

ABC has cancelled Life on Mars, the surreal crime drama that dropped a New York cop 35 years into the past, reports Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly:

Multiple sources are confirming that ABC has canceled my beloved Life on Mars. Per an insider, the network recently advised the show's producers that it would not be ordering a second season. The heads-up will allow them to make this year's season finale a series finale, thus leaving no questions unanswered. And unlike Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, etc., all indications are that ABC will actually air this series finale. We're making progress, people!

This is good news for my TV Deathpool but bad news for me personally. Life on Mars was my favorite show of the new TV season. The cast is great -- Jason O'Mara, Gretchen Mol, Michael Imperioli and Harvey Keitel in his first TV series -- and the 1973 period details were completely funkadelic. The series convinced me that the '70s were not the musical black hole I thought they were, working songs both popular and obscure into the proceedings. Recent episodes featured Harry Nilsson's Spaceman, The Kinks' Supersonic Rocket Ship and Marion Black's Come On and Gettit.

That's some pretty impressive James Brown sex grunting from Black, a performer who's so forgotten today that his family was surprised and proud to find something about him on the web. Television remembers him, though -- another one of his songs, Who Knows, showed up on an episode of Weeds.

The Life on Mars finale ought to clear up whether Det. Sam Tyler's trip was the result of time travel, a coma, the afterlife or nanobots living up his nose. I was hoping we wouldn't find out the answer for a couple years.


The BBC version, which IMO was so much better, was only 12 episodes and never answereed the how question. There were some small clues in the follow on Ashes to Ashes series but nothing that would give you a precise answer and I feel that letting each viewer bring his or her own imagination was the most satisfying option.

FYI, Ashes to Ashes season one premiers on BBC America this Saturday. I already watched it--thanks Web of Tubes--but if you like LoM you should enjoy this too. Back in time character is female, the year is 1981 and Gene Hunt is the same a-hole as before.

Actually there were 16 episodes, bill. And it was great enough that I'd never bother to watch the dumbed-down version American TV would inevitably make it. If you enjoyed whatever it turned into, Rogers, watch the original.

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