Life on Mars (television) Hour-long series premiering on ABC on October 9, 2008 and ending April 1, 2009. Sam Tyler, a modern-day police detective, after a car crash, finds himself transported back to 1973 and still working as a detective. Based on the BBC series created by Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan, and Ashley Pharoah. Stars Jason O’Mara (Sam Tyler), Gretchen Mol (Annie Norris), Michael Imperioli (Det. Ray Carling), Harvey Keitel (Gene Hunt). Jonathan Murphy (Chris Skelton). A production of Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.