ABC’s McPherson: Life on Mars Ready for Take Off

ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson said freshman drama Life on Mars, scheduled to air this fall on the network’s prime-time schedule, is on track, despite published stories and rumors to the contrary.

The New York Post reported today that the show, based on a British drama about a cop who
after an accident is transported mentally back into the 1970s, “may be left for dead.”

The Post cited a shift in production from Los Angeles to New York, the departure of David E. Kelley who originally was overseeing the show, and recasting and rewriting of scripts.

But Kelley’s departure had been reported weeks ago, and during upfront meetings with the media in New York last month, McPherson mentioned that some cast members were being changed and the pilot, or portions of it, would be reshot.

McPherson said “production has been set up in New York and everything is moving along fine.”

“David Kelley left the project because of disagreements we had over costs of production and reshooting of scenes back in mid-spring,” McPherson said. “And we since decided to move production to New York to give the show a better juxtaposition between the modern day and 1970s scenes. We thought New York would play better than L.A. We are actually ahead of schedule with new scripts in hand and production set to go. Usually new shows don’t begin shooting until late July, so we are on track.”

ABC also has been heavily promoting the show during its prime-time telecasts of the NBA Finals. “We wouldn’t be promoting the show so heavily if it weren’t going to air,” McPherson said. “The reports to the contrary are false.”