ABC picks up 'Life on Mars'

Network renews 'Eli Stone,' cancels 'October Road'

In final preparations for its upfront presentation today, ABC on Monday closed a deal to pick up the drama pilot "Life on Mars" to series.

Additionally, the network renewed quirky freshman drama "Eli Stone" and officially canceled "October Road," "Women's Murder Club" and "Cashmere Mafia."

In a symbolic passing of the baton, "October Road" creators Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg are taking over "Life on Mars" as executive producers. ABC Studios is co-producing with 20th TV.

The "Mars" pickup became possible after a thumbs up from David E. Kelley, who had acquired the rights to the BBC series and penned the pilot starring Jason O'Mara as a 21st century cop transported to the 1970s.

That came after ABC struck a deal Sunday to renew Kelley's dramedy "Boston Legal."

Oddsmakers bet on "Mars" to land in the post-"Grey's Anatomy" slot on Thursday, though "Dirty Sexy Money" also is a possibility.

Monday and Sunday are rumored to stay status quo, with Wednesday reverting to its fall 2007 lineup of "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice" and "Dirty Sexy Money."

The new Ashton Kutcher-produced reality series "Opportunity Knocks" might open Tuesday night, leading into the "Dancing With the Stars" results show and "Boston Legal" and "Eli Stone" possibly alternating in the 10 p.m. hour.

Reliable unscripted performers "Supernanny" and "Wife Swap" are rumored for Friday, followed by "20/20."

Meanwhile, in an online posting Monday, "Scrubs" star Zach Braff confirmed that the NBC comedy is moving to ABC in the fall for its final season.

Nellie Andreeva reported from Los Angeles; James Hibberd reported from New York.
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