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Michael Imperioli Moving To Mars

by Dave Elliott

Interesting little bit of news popped up on Hollywood Reporter this morning.

Michael Imperioli who played Christopher Moltisanti in the brilliant Sopranos has been cast as Detective Ray Carling in ABC US remake of ‘Life on Mars’.

I can see Imperioli doing a good job as Ray, and if it’s any indication of how the 2nd pilot is shaping up, i look forward to seeing it.

The casting is part of a revamp after David E. Kelley (L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) left the project and ABC requested some major changes (and with good reason, as anyone has seen the 1st pilot would probably agree – it’s floating around on the interwebs if you want to see it.)

Updated as rumour: There are rumours, that they are also recasting Annie Cartwright (Rachelle Lefevre) and Gene Hunt (Colm Meaney).

If true, it’d be a shame about Colm. I felt he could have done a good job there, but was being reined in by US censors (or the writer/production team). They removed all the Geneisums that helped make the Gene “Let’s go play slappyface” genie so great, so it was a rather neutered version of Gene Hunt. I still find it hard to see anyone bettering Philip Glenister in the role though.

It looks like Jason O’Mara has survived and is still playing Sam Tyler. He didn’t strike me as anything outstanding in the 1st pilot, but it’s hard to tell, as Sam is supposed to pretty dazed and confused in the 1st episode.

The other major change has moved the shows setting from a pretty non-discript Los Angeles to a far more interesting ‘The French Connection’ era New York.

I know a lot of people would say ‘why remake such a great show’, but the original is SO British, (as with ‘The Office’) i can see why they’d like a US version for a US audience. I wasn’t overly impressed with David E. Kelley stab at Life on Mars, so i’m glad it’s getting a 2nd chance.

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