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Posted on Wednesday 07 May 2008
David E. Kelley "re-evaluating" involvement in Life on Mars
The American version of Life on Mars may be proceeding without David E. Kelley, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Kelley adapted the initial script of the BBC series for an American audience, and holds the US rights. A pilot was filmed last summer, with Jason O'Mara as Sam Tyler and Colm Meaney as Gene Hunt. However, because of the Writers Guild strike, the project didn't proceed further.
Reports now indicate that October Road creators Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg are negotiating to come on board as executive producers, while ABC Studios in talks with 20th Century Fox TV to join as a co-producer.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that "Kelley is reevaluating his involvement in the project as it goes forward", although no deals can be made without his agreement
ABC picks up 'Life on Mars'
Network renews 'Eli Stone,' cancels 'October Road'
By Nellie Andreeva
May 12, 2008, 01:37 PM
ABC Monday closed a deal to pick up "Life on Mars" to series.
Additionally, the network renewed freshman drama "Eli Stone" and officially canceled "October Road" and "Women's Murder Club."
ABC had been looking to pick up "Life on Mars" but with "October Road" creators Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg coming in as executive producers and ABC Studios as a co-producer with 20th TV.
But such a deal had to be blessed by David E. Kelley, who penned the pilot and owns the rights to the property, an American version of the BBC series about a 21st century cop transported to the 1970s.
ABC's Sunday deal with Kelley to renew his dramedy "Boston Legal" paved the way to a "Life on Mars" pickup.
'Boston Legal' will return
ABC renews the David E. Kelley series for a fifth season
By Nellie Andreeva
May 11, 2008, 04:15 PM
The stalemate between ABC and "Boston Legal" creator David E. Kelley is headed to a resolution.
After intense negotiations, the network on Sunday reached an agreement with Kelley to bring "Legal" back in the fall. The network had originally intended to hold "Legal" for midseason.
The deal on "Legal" includes a reduced license fee for the show and is said to be subject to David E. Kelley Prods.' ability to make deals with the cast under the new fee. Like last year, cast reductions are likely.
The pact on "Legal" also opens the door for a series pickup of Kelley's drama pilot "Life on Mars."
The network had been zeroing in on a series order of the project starring Jason O'Mara, with "October Road" creators Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg coming in as executive producers and ABC Studios as a co-producer with 20th TV.
But such a deal had to be blessed by Kelley, who owns the rights to the property, an American version of the BBC series about a 21st century cop transported to the 1970s.
Now such a pact appears very likely.
This is the second time the fates of "Mars" and "Legal" have been tied together. Two years ago, ABC's "Mars" pickup helped clinch a renewal of "Legal."
Upon completion of the deal, "Life" is expected to be one of handful new additions to ABC's fall schedule, along with import "Scrubs" and the Ashton Kutcher-produced reality series "Opportunity Knocks."