My sister-in-law called me frantically this week with two questions: "'Are they really canceling 'Life on Mars?' Why do they always cancel shows I like?'"
The answer to the first question is yes, ABC has canceled the series, which was based on a popular BBC series about a police detective who was transported back in time to the 1970s.
The final episode, which ABC promises will explain what happened to Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara), will run next Wednesday.
The answer to why "Life" is dying is the same as the answer to why the last show my sister-in-law loved, "Eli Stone," died. Bad ratings, nationally and locally despite an incredible cast that includes Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol.
Take the most recent episode Wednesday night, in which Tyler was set up on a murder charge and almost was convinced by the dirty cop who committed the crime to jump off the roof of a building to get back to 2008. It finished fifth in its time slot here even though only three broadcast series air at 10 p.m.
"CSI: NY" on Channel 4 was first with a 12.4 rating. "Law & Order" on Channel 2 had a 7.3 rating. Channel 4's news on WNLO had a 6.7 rating. Reruns of "Seinfeld" and "Two and a Half Men" on Channel 29 had a 5.0 rating.
"Mars" on Channel 7 had a 4.5 rating, which means sadly only about 4.5 percent of area households were tuned in counting my sister-in-law.
What do you think of "Mars" and its cancellation?
-- Alan Pergament