Schlamme on ‘Mars’ mission

Director takes on Kelley pilot

David E. Kelley has recruited “The West Wing” and “Studio 60” helmer Thomas Schlamme to direct the pilot for his ABC drama “Life on Mars.”

Schlamme will also exec produce the pilot seg, which is in pre-production and slated to lense sometime this summer. Kelley, Stephen Garrett and Jane Featherstone are also exec producing.

Schlamme directed the pilot for Kelley’s Fox drama “Boston Public,” as well as episodes of “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice.”

“Life” is based on the BBC series of the same name. Original skein revolved around a detective who ends up back in the 1970s, working on a case that may impact the future.

Casting on Kelley’s “Mars” is under way. Rachelle Lefevre (“What About Brian”) has already been set.

Kelley’s company is producing “Mars” in association with 20th Century Fox TV.

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