By BRIAN LOWRY (Variety)
Every year ABC rolls the dice on one truly first-rate pilot that breaks (or at least bends) the usual mold. "Life on Mars" is the latest gamble -- albeit one predicated on an existing template, that being a BBC drama. Splendidly cast, handsomely produced and conceptually intriguing, the network's bid to create a procedural with a twist also faces a high hurdle -- call it the "Lost" conundrum, where viewers might grow impatient for some indication as to what's really going on. So while "Mars" launches just fine, the trick will be maintaining its orbit.
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