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Michael Imperioli, Harvey Keitel

Life on Mars

Despite switching showrunners and axing much of the pilot cast, by the time the dust settled ABC had scored a pair of casting coups for its time-travel drama “Life on Mars.” The remake of the Brit hit features Harvey Keitel (“Bad Lieutenant”) and Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) as a pair of bad-boy Big Apple cops.

The period piece, which will follow “Grey’s Anatomy” on Thursdays, stars Jason O’Mara (“Men in Trees”) as a modern-day detective who finds himself transported back in time to the 1970s and struggling to survive among cops who believe forensics are for sissies who can’t extract confessions the old-fashioned way.

“Who better to embody a 1973 New York City police lieutenant than Harvey Keitel?” asks executive producer Andre Nemec. “There’s an authenticity and toughness with a deep underlying compassion.”

The Gotham setting also made Imperioli a natural fit for the role of old-school crimefighter Ray Carling. “Michael is a student of the 1970s,” Nemec says. “And he’s a real-deal New Yorker.”

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