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Death on Mars

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Not a shock but too bad, anyway: Life on Mars is being cancelled. I can’t say I will miss it deeply; after a very strong pilot, the show vacillated between being a mystery about how Sam got trapped in the ’70s and simply being a ’70s cop show with a twist. (And actually, it was often better as the latter.) I feel about it very much the way I felt about Invasion a couple seasons back: I was intrigued by the premise, enjoyed it when I watched it, but it always fell this shy of being a must-see. 


The one silver lining, according to the Reuters piece, is that the series will wrap up with a finale explaining what happened to Sam. Giving fans closure on shows like this even when they fail (see also Jericho, in its second cancellation by CBS) is an important investment in getting fans to commit to other serial (or serial-lite) shows in the future. ABC is the most serial-heavy of the broadcast networks, so it has a special interest in not burning Mars fans.