Powered by i.TV
April 24, 2014

Life on Mars

Best and Worst TV of 2009: Jason's List

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 21st 2009 5:06PM
Daniel Wright2009 was a good year for television. It offered the resurgence of the comedy on network television, and the continuing growth of original programming on cable. In all honesty, I don't think I could just do a list of what was great and what was horrible on television because I would need pages and pages.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the things that really stood out this year. Sorry, Mad Men fans, but even though this was a great third season and an amazing finale, I expect it at this point. It's the only way I could come up with to keep my list manageable.

Also, as a point of protest I did not include Jon, Kate or the balloon boy hoax. These events got more attention than they deserved already this year, and I feel bad I even mentioned them.

Read More

Sneak Peek: ABC's Happy Town

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 15th 2009 8:03AM
We told you earlier this year about the new ABC mystery series Happy Town. It's from the people who did Life on Mars and is about weird happenings in a small town. OK, that doesn't describe much, but from the extended preview below, it looks like it has a lot of Twin Peaks and a little Harper's Island. It has a good cast, including Sam Neill, Steven Weber, Amy Acker, Geoff Stults, and Abraham Benrubi.

Read More

New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 23rd 2009 6:00PM
Alfred Hitchcock PresentsHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Finally, season 4 of Alfred Hitchcock Presents is on DVD. I say finally because this season contains one of my favorite episodes of any TV series ever, "Man with a Problem," with Elizabeth Montgomery, Gary Merrill, and Peter Mark Richman. It has a great twist ending (you can watch it here). I have to start buying this show on DVD.

The Golden Age of Television DVD is a Criterion Collection set and includes some great live TV episodes, including "Marty," "Days of Wine and Roses," "The Comedian," "Requiem for a Heavyweight," "No Time For Sergeants," "A Wind from the South," and "Bang The Drum Slowly." Also comes with extensive commentaries and interviews and a booklet.

Read More

Gretchen Mol and Other "Almost It" Girls: Starlets Who Never Quite Made It Big

by Daynah Burnett, posted Nov 22nd 2009 6:36PM
Just this past week, HBO announced the addition of Gretchen Mol to the cast of its upcoming series 'Boardwalk Empire,' starring Steve Buscemi as Atlantic City gangster Nucky Thompson. With a string of respectable supporting roles, Mol's made a career out of not-quite making it, starting with her famous 1998 'Vanity Fair' cover that asked the entirely premature question: "Is Gretchen Mol Hollywood's New It Girl?"

But though Mol didn't exactly fade into obscurity (she earned kudos for her eye-opening turn in the indie 'The Notorious Bettie Page' and co-starred in ABC's short-lived 'Life on Mars'), neither did she become the huge success the industry predicted she would be. What happened? Was it luck, timing, bad choices or simply a case of too much hype? Whatever that case, Mol's casting got us thinking about other "Almost It" girls that Hollywood left behind about as quickly as it tried to make them mega-stars.

Read More

Gretchen Mol to join Boardwalk Empire

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 18th 2009 9:34AM
An American AffairGretchen Mol, who was last seen in last season's short-lived American television version of Life on Mars and in the feature An American Affair, will be going to HBO for the series Boardwalk Empire. She's scheduled to have a recurring role as a showgirl. The series is being produced by Martin Scorsese.

Gretchen Mol was on Life on Mars with Michael Imperioli, who was also on The Sopranos on HBO and was in Scorsese's Goodfellas. Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi also appeared on The Sopranos. In short, all these people know each other and it's definitely a case of cast inbreeding. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Seriously, Gretchen Mol is a terrific actress and was fantastic in The Notorious Bettie Page. Given the talent already behind Boardwalk Empire, it was likely to be a fantastic series. Now its volume just went up to 11.

Read More

New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 28th 2009 6:06PM
KingsHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

This might not be the biggest DVD release day in history, but it's certainly one of the business. There's something for everyone this week, including a bunch of "Fan Favorites" DVDs for various sitcoms, including NewsRadio, All in the Family, and I Dream of Jeannie. That's a neat idea, though I wonder, if you're a big fan, wouldn't you already have the DVDs?

Oh, and remember Day Break, the ABC mystery series from a couple of years ago? You can get the Complete Series. I don't think I ever saw the end of that show. You can watch it on SlashControl, so maybe I'll start there before buying the set.


  • All in the Family - Fan Favorites
  • Ax Men - Season 2
  • Barney Miller - Fan Favorites
  • Bewitched - Fan Favorites

Read More

NBC to adapt UK's Prime Suspect

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 3rd 2009 2:08PM
Helen_Mirren_Prime_SuspectIs it cynical of me to question the wisdom of NBC trying to adapt the British detective series Prime Suspect for American TV? It probably is, but after the disappointment of Life on Mars (I know, some of you liked the ABC version, but I was not in that camp), I have worries about the way American writers and producers rework excellent British TV shows and suck the life out of them in the process.

What makes Prime Suspect particularly of concern is that the British show had a great actress starring in it. Helen Mirren has deserved every award -- Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe -- that she's received. As the tough-as-nails detective chief inspector Jane Tennison, she was simply amazing.

Read More

New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 27th 2009 6:00PM
Donna Reed ShowHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

I have a feeling a lot of DVD sets are going to be sold this week. Rabid fans of Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse, Doctor Who, and Torchwood all have something to buy. If you didn't/don't watch any of those shows ... well, you can always buy season two of The Donna Reed Show. That's one classic sitcom that I never really got into. Not sure why. I loved Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy and Father Knows Best, but not The Donna Reed Show. Probably because it wasn't on as much as those other shows.

  • Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.5 and Complete Series
  • Doctor Who - Planet of the Dead
  • Dollhouse - Season 1

Read More

What are you looking forward to catching up with this summer?

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 30th 2009 3:01PM
SkinsIn the DVR era, I have this new problem/blessing that happens to me every year. I jump on board these shows and then just get too busy to keep up with them and they pile up and sit there on my DVR unwatched. As an example, I just finished "Chapter 5" of John Adams last night; damn that's a good mini-series. But now that 99% of the network shows are wrapping up their seasons, I'm looking at three months of solid catch-up time.

I can also use the time to try out series I've always wanted to get into but just haven't for some reason or another; I'll use that "no time" excuse again. With more videos streaming online at Hulu (thanks ABC), seasons coming out ever faster on DVD and more vintage shows coming out the field is wide open. Of course, I'm probably taking on more than I can handle, but dammit I'm excited!

Read More

Harold Perrineau: The TV Squad Interview

by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 15th 2009 11:04AM
harold perrineau the unusuals
Harold Perrineau is worried. He's worried that viewers won't give his new show, The Unusuals, a chance. He has a valid concern: The Unusuals, which just premiered, is on Wednesday nights at 10, on ABC; otherwise known as the post-Lost timeslot (of doom).

ABC is showing faith in The Unusuals. After all, it's not stuck in the Friday night graveyard or anything. The post-Lost slot is tricky though; shows generally don't do well there. It could be that the minds of everybody who watches Lost are so blown, they can't even stick around for another hour of television. Whatever it is, the quirky cop show Life On Mars recently died a sad death there. Will this quirky cop show do better? Harold Perrineau certainly hopes so.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. We talk about plot points in the recently aired pilot, some spoilers for upcoming episodes, as well as the fate of Michael, Perrineau's character on Lost.

Read More

Life on Mars: Life is a Rock (series finale)

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 2nd 2009 1:12AM
Life on Mars(S01E17) It's the last episode ever of the American version of this show. I'm not sure if it's appropriate or not, but it happened on April Fool's Day, as well. They certainly took the show to its most literal conclusion possible. As I write this, I'm still processing a lot of the story.

Comparisons are inevitable, and the ending of the British series was hands-down better. However, this one was good for a couple of laughs and wasn't completely outrageous (close, but not completely).

Read More

What's On Tonight: Scrubs, Lie To Me, Bobby Flay, Damages

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 1st 2009 4:05PM
Life on Mars

  • At 8, ABC has a new Scrubs, followed by new episodes of Better Off Ted, Lost, and the series finale of Life on Mars.
  • CBS has the April Fool's special I Get That A Lot at 8.
  • FOX has new episodes of Lie To Me and American Idol.
  • The CW has a new America's Next Top Model at 8.
  • At 9, NBC has a new episode of Life.
  • Food Network has a new Throwdown with Bobby Flay at 9.
  • Also at 9: Sci-Fi has a new Ghost Hunters.
  • At 10, Comedy Central has a new South Park, then the season premiere of Reno 911!
  • FX has the season finale of Damages at 10.
  • A&E has a new Dog The Bounty Hunter at 10.
  • MTV has a new Real World at 10.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

Read More

On the Set: 'Life on Mars'

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 1st 2009 6:00AM
Life on MarsTonight marks the series finale of ABC's 'Life on Mars.'

The show, an American version of a Brit series of the same name, stars Jason O'Mara, Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol and developed a cult following despite only one season on the airwaves.

Unfortunately, there weren't enough fans to warrant a second installment. (Reminding us of that other recent short-lived '70s-set series 'Swingtown' -- oh, 1970s, why must all the good shows that depict your awesome polyester wardrobes, feathery hairstyles and outrageously outdated mores be killed off so quickly? We're not counting 'That '70s Show,' and we think you know why.)

But, ahem, AOL TV was granted an exclusive on set visit to 'LOM,' where we got our '70s fix, but good.

So what was life actually like on 'Mars'? Read through our post to see the highlights (and then shed a tear for the passing of this fine, fine show -- we're nostalgic already).

Read More

Life on Mars: Everyone Knows It's Windy

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 26th 2009 1:38AM
Life on Mars(S01E16) In our second-to-last episode, we get a few revelations about Sam and the reason behind his trip to 1973. Nothing conclusive, of course, but that's probably been saved for next week. Will Sam get back to 2009? Will he die? Will he get hit by another car and wake up in 1938? The mind boggles.

Sam is really adapting to his environment and becoming more brutal in his police work. Being stuck in a 1973 cop show is really rubbing off on him. On the plus side, even a bullet can't keep Michael Imperioli from delivering a great performance while in surgery. I think I'll miss you the most, Ray.

Read More

What's the greatest short-lived show of all-time?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 24th 2009 3:03PM
Brisco and CometWe've talked a lot about great short-lived shows here at TV Squad. We even have a whole category for them. But it's always good to revisit the topic to see what you readers think.

Over at Entertainment Weekly, they've chosen the 25 great TV shows that got a quick hook, the shows that got canceled (way) before their time (we're talking really short runs, so Arrested Development and Sports Night aren't on the list). There are several shows on the list that you would expect to see (Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life, Firefly), some surprise entries that made me happy to see on there (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr, Frank's Place, Karen Sisco, Now & Again), and a few head-scratchers (Malibu Road? Really?). It's slightly heavy on the current side, with Journeyman and Life on Mars on the list. I mean, Life on Mars is still running new episodes.

Read More

Follow Us

From Our Partners