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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Life on Mars" runs out of time

How appropriate that the last "Life on Mars" post I wrote was entitled, "Baby, baby you're out of time."

That was based on a Rolling Stones song used in the pilot episode. But now, it means something else since ABC is reportedly cancelling the once promising first-year series.

According to, 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, which would give the show a proper conclusion to the "Is Sam Tyler really in 1973?" conundrum that steered the pilot.

As someone who enjoyed (maybe) two episodes of the series, I can't say this news is particularly jarring. After being mildly amused by the pilot, I stated that "Mars" could either be "really great or really awful." After watching the show painfully veer into hokey melodrama instead of using its excellent cast to draw out an intricate plot device (coma? time travel? crazy hallucination?), I gave up on what had become a by-the-book, wink-wink '70s cop drama. A new time slot post-"Lost" apparently didn't convince enough people it was headed in the right direction, either.

Bottom line: with shows like "Pushing Daisies," "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Eli Stone" already getting the heave-ho, this latest network dagger proves that ABC has a really, really short leash.

So, any "Mars" fans out there plan to mourn this loss. Even better, how should they end the series now that they're being forced to?

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,



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