Jason O'Mara and Harvey Keitel, Life on Mars
ABC has canceled Life on Mars, but will allow the cop drama to complete its full one-season run. The network has opted not to extend the series beyond 17 episodes, according to Variety.
It's not all bad news, though. Rather than wait until May when on-the-bubble shows are typically told whether or not they'll be renewed or canceled, ABC told the producers now, so that they can plan for a proper series finale — a courtesy not extended to the recently unplugged ABC shows Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone. "We felt it was the right thing to do for the producers and the fans and creatively," ABC Entertainment Group President Steve McPherson told TelevisionWeek. Calls to ABC were not yet returned.
This is particularly important for Mars, as its mysterious premise — an NYPD cop is hit by a car and spontaneously time-travels back to 1973 — requires some explaining. Is Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) in a coma, at the mercy of supernatural forces or something else entirely?
For now, it seems, the fans will get that answer.
Did Life on Mars deserve the ax? Is ABC getting an itchy trigger finger on the cancellation front? And how would you like to see the series end?