SOPRANOS star Michael Imperioli was desperate to find a killer acting role after his long-running stint on the show - because its success was so untouchable.
The actor - who played Christopher Moltisanti in the long-running mob drama - is returning to TV to fight crime, in an American adaptation of hit British cop show Life on Mars.
But he insists his mega success with his infamous role left him on a chase to find an equally challenging part.
He says, "I definitely was picky. Something like The Sopranos, that fulfills your creative drive for such a long period of time and challenges you, is a hard act to follow.
"I thought the (Life on Mars) script was very well written, first of all, and a really cool idea. And I thought he's different enough from what I had done in the past, although it seems to be most of the stuff I've been doing is either a cop or a robber."
Imperioli will portray lead actor Jason O'Mara's partner in the series, a role played by Philip Glenister in the British version of the show.
Life on Mars is expected to air on 9 October (08).