Tuesday, 3 March 2009


ABC pulls the plug on the American version of Life on Mars. A finale will explain how Sam Tyler got transported back in time and will (maybe) bring him back to his own time (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/a148359/abc-axes-life-on-mars-after-one-season.html).

In november 2008 your humble servant wrote: « To adapt foreign formats will certainly not be the solution to the troubles of this Fall's schedules or of the whole season. See ABC's Life on Mars US... What's the point of adapting series American viewers already know through BBC America or the internet? Do programing execs believe Brit shows are still ghettoized on PBS or relegated to cheapo syndication deals? » (http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2008/11/la-cabeza-de-alfredo-garcia.html). But ABC has not lost faith in foreign formats, Argentinian shows are the flavor of next season (http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/03/things-to-watch-in-hollywoodland-you.html), and the network will adapt ITV's No heroics.

To guess the fate of Life on Mars US was no psychic: two pilots (think of it, Life on Mars' premise has been remade twice!), renowned producer David Kelley leaving the adaptation, major cast changes with Colm Meaney being replaced by Harvey Keitel as the American Gene Hunt, and mistakes, with Michael Imperioli not casted as Hunt. A move from Los Angeles to New York, and a new production team. But most of all, Jason O'Mara (Sam Tyler) and Harvey Keitel had the impossible mission to reprise roles played by John Simm (imagine poor Russell Crowe in the State of Play movie) and Philip Glenister.

British production companies should rent their shooting facilities - like what the producers of the Fort Boyard game do, in order to help US Networks to try to devise proper adaptations of their shows. More seriously, La Chica de ayer, the Spanish Life on Mars, looks far more interesting with its local cultural and historical input (http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/02/la-chica-de-ayer-spanish-life-on-mars.html). You must bring something more than the concept and American actors or locations.

Thank God, Harvey Keitel, one of the most talented American actors, didn't try British accent. Perhaps on Demons US?

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