O’Mara lands on ‘Mars’

Kelley to produce ABC adaptation of Brit hit

Jason O’Mara (“Band of Brothers”) has been tapped by David E. Kelley to star in the ABC adaptation of Brit hit “Life on Mars.”

O’Mara will play Sam Tyler, a detective who is suddenly transported to the 1970s — where he encounters a serial killer who may have something to do with the present-day abduction of his girlfriend.

“This is a complicated character with many colors,” said Kelley, whose David E. Kelley Prods. is behind the pilot along with 20th Century Fox TV. “After an exhaustive search, we’re thrilled to have cast Jason O’Mara. He is a tremendous talent.”

O’Mara, who has a talent deal at the Alphabet, most recently starred as Philip Marlowe in the ABC pilot “Marlowe.” The project wasn’t picked up to series, but the thesp impressed the net.

O’Mara will star opposite Rachelle Lefevre, who has already been cast as the female lead.

“When I read the script, the bad news was that in order for the project to work, we needed an actor who could play confident yet lost, forceful yet frightened, withdrawn yet available, and uncompromising yet funny,” said Thomas Schlamme, who’s directing the pilot. “The good news is we got Jason O’Mara.”

“Life on Mars” will start production on Aug. 14 and will be ready for midseason consideration. Kelley wrote the pilot script; he’s also exec producing with Schlamme, Stephen Garrett and Jane Featherstone.

O’Mara’s other credits include “Men in Trees,” “In Justice,” “The Closer,” “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Miami.”

Meanwhile, in separate ABC programming news, the net has changed the title of its new Christina Applegate series yet again.

The comedy formerly known as “Samantha Be Good” — which was the comedy formerly known as “Sam I Am” — has now been re-re-titled “Samantha Who?”

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