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Kelley, ABC on Mission to 'Mars'

Producer David E. Kelley will explore "Life on Mars" in his next project for ABC.

The "Boston Legal" creator will pen a version of the BBC crime drama "Life on Mars" for the network, extending a relationship with ABC that began with "The Practice" in 1997. The pilot is likely to go on ABC's fall 2007 development roster, the showbiz trade papers report.

"Life on Mars" is about a present-day cop who, after surviving a car crash, wakes up to find himself in the 1970s. Despite the odd-sounding premise, the show debuted on the BBC earlier this year to strong reviews and solid ratings, drawing between 6 million and 7 million viewers for most of its eight-week run.

Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah, all of whom worked on the heist drama "Hustle" (shown on AMC in this country), created "Life on Mars." Its executive producers, Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett, will serve in the same capacity on the ABC version, along with Kelley.

It will be Kelley's first stab at a crime show since "Snoops," which ran for half a season on ABC in 1999. It's also the first time in quite a while -- going back to "L.A. Law" -- that Kelley will work on a show he didn't create.

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