After giving a Body Of Proof midseason order serious consideration for the past several weeks, I hear ABC is throwing in the towel on the idea after running out of time. Even if the network and producing studio ABC Studios had figured out a way to make it happen and had actors and writers locked in to start work tomorrow, BOP wouldn’t have been ready to join the schedule until the last week of March. And neither ABC nor ABC Studios are anywhere near a workable plan for a BOP 2.0. “Sorry to disappoint some, but will not be resurrected,” star Dana Delany tweeted today. “May she rest in peace. Time for new adventure.”
Technically, it is possible for ABC and ABC Studios to consider an order for summer or next season but the more time lapses, the harder bringing back key players would be. As Delany indicated, she may take on a new show, which would make her unavailable to BOP and thus seal its fate as her character is the heart of the series. Executive producer Matthew Gross has a high-profile new ABC drama project from Patricia Cornwell. Body Of Proof‘s May cancellation after three seasons was a head-scratcher. ABC walked away from an average audience of 11 million viewers, the third-largest for an ABC drama series last season, and 2.0/6 in the adults 18-49 demo. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Look who might be coming back from the dead. I’ve learned that ABC is considering bringing back crime drama Body Of Proof. I hear the discussions started at the beginning of the season, with the network expected to make a decision whether to move on with the revival, likely for midseason, within the next month as it gets a more clear picture of how many of its new series would stay on beyond the fall. As Body of Proof’s cast, writers and crew have all moved on following the May cancellation (showrunner Evan Katz is executive producing Fox’s 24: Live Another Day), there is a lot of work to be done to re-assemble a team and bring back star Dana Delany to be able to get the show up and running for midseason.
Related: ABC’s Paul Lee On ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Body of Proof’ Axings
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ABC president Paul Lee did the inevitable post-mortem today on the cancellation of two bubble shows, comedy Happy Endings and drama Body Of Proof. Both are still in play, with Happy Endings a possibility at USA and Body Of Proof being considered by TNT, USA and WGN America. But here is why they are no longer on ABC: “We found Happy Endings was too narrow but I loved the show, I think it was absolutely on brand”, Lee said. Asked why ABC cancelled Happy Endings but picked up two other single-camera ensemble comedies about a group of friends — Mixology and Super Fun Night – Lee said, “I feel Mixology and Super Fun Night are much broader.” As for Body Of Proof, “We had a very strong season in terms of development,” Lee said. “I would love to see Body Of Proof find a good home for itself, I love (star) Dana Delany.”
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Despite improving its ratings in the second half of its recent midseason run and getting good marks creatively, crime drama Body Of Proof couldn’t avoid the retool curse, getting a pass from ABC on Friday after three seasons, the latest series to get cancelled after being reworked. But the show is not as cold as the corpses on Megan Hunt’s (Dana Delany) table yet. I’ve learned that producer ABC Studios is actively shopping the drama series. In addition to the usual suspects for such a character-driven procedural with a strong lead — TNT and USA Network — I hear also in the mix is Tribune’s WGN America, which is in building mode, looking to join the ranks of cable networks offering original programming. With its average of 11 million viewers and 2.0/6 in 18-49 this season, Body Of Proof would bring a sizable audience to a cable network. (It ranked as the third-most-watched ABC drama this season, behind only Dancing With The Stars-buoyed Castle and flagship Grey’s Anatomy). The prospect of WGN America is particularly intriguing as the network only signaled its intention to get in the original scripted game in March, and acquiring an existing show is the fastest way of doing that. On the superstation, Body Of Proof would fit with the current off-network drama offerings, all crime procedurals, particularly the only contemporary hourlong series Bones.
Related: Matt Cherniss To Run WGN, Newly Formed Tribune Studios Read More »
When it returned for a third season in February, ABC‘s Body Of Proof appeared destined to join the scores of other series that have died a quick death after a major retooling. The crime procedural starring Dana Delany opened with a 1.2/3 in 18-49, down an alarming 45% from its Season 2 premiere and tied as a series low, and 6.8 million total viewers. But unlike two other dramas that crashed and burned with retooled versions this midseason, NBC’s Smash and Fox’s Touch, Body Of Proof has improved on its underwhelming start. Since Episode 5, the show has not fallen under 1.4 18-49 rating and 8.4 million total viewers. And last week, the drama hit a 1.6 in 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers, matching its season high in the demo and posting its second largest audience of the season. It won the 10 PM hour, beating CBS’ Golden Boy by 14% in 18-49 and 1.4 million viewers. While older skewing, Body Of Proof ranks as ABC’s third most watched drama, only behind Dancing With The Stars-buoyed Castle and flagship Grey’s Anatomy.
What’s more, I hear ABC brass are happy with the reworked version of Body Of Proof, which they consider an improvement over the original series creatively. Additionally, the procedural is a major moneymaker for ABC sibling ABC Studios with strong international sales. Cancelling the show as it heads into Season … Read More »
This month marks the return after extensive retooling of three drama series fronted by bona fide TV stars — Fox’s Touch starring Kiefer Sutherland, NBC’s Smash starring Debra Messing and ABC‘s Body Of Proof toplined by Dana Delany — just as the proposed retooling of another young broadcast series with top-notch cast, NBC comedy Up All Night, is going up in flames. Touch opened its second season with an underwhelming 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 and this past Friday plunged to a 0.7 rating in its second airing, effectively sealing its fate. (For now, Fox is not talking about pulling the show the way CBS did with The Job after its 0.7 showing last Friday but that seems a matter of time.) Smash‘s second season premiere also crashed with a 1.1 demo rating.
Going against the second episode of Smash tonight, ABC’s tweaked Body Of Proof will be making its third-season debut as the crime procedural is looking to avoid the plight of many of its predecessors which didn’t survive a retool. Ironically, the biggest new addition to the cast of Body Of Proof as part of the overhaul, Mark Valley, was the star of another series, Fox’s Human Target, that was unsuccessfully revamped after its freshman season and didn’t last past Season 2. “This has been a unique experience in that… I’ve been actually retooled myself,” he quipped at the Body Of Proof TCA session last month. Other recent series that didn’t last after a revamp include NBC’s Law & Order: LA, retooled midway through a first season that became the series’ last, as well as NBC’s Harry’s Law and USA’s Fairly Legal, both rebooted after Season 1 and cancelled after Season 2. (In another coincidence, Valley was one of the new additions in Harry’s Law‘s revamp.) In most cases, the networks like the overall premise and love the show’s star (Sutherland, Delany, Up All Night‘s Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph; Human Target‘s Valley, Harry’s Law‘s Kathy Bates and Fairly Legal‘s Sarah Shahi) and/or the series’ auspices (Harry’s Law‘s David E. Kelley, L&O: LA‘s Dick Wolf) but are looking to shake up soft ratings. Unfortunately, a reboot almost never provides the desired ratings jolt and often has the opposite effect as fickle viewers are rarely willing to give a show a second look, and cast changes sometime alienate core fans. (Body Of Proof axed three regulars in the reboot: John Carroll Lynch, Nicholas Bishop and Sonja Sohn). Read More »
The return of ABC‘s revamped Body Of Proof has been delayed by two weeks. Originally scheduled for February 5, the third season premiere of the crime procedural will now air on February 19. President Barack Obama’s State Of The Union will be televised on February 12, and ABC brass wanted to avoid introducing Body Of Proof 2.0 and then having to pre-empt it the very next week. As part of the show’s makeover, regulars Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn were let go, while Elyes Gabel and Mark Valley were brought in as detectives. Behind the scenes, Evan Katz joined as executive producer.
Related: ‘Body Of Proof’ Producers On Season 3 Changes
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The production team from the third-year ABC drama Body Of Proof was grilled at TCA this afternoon to explain the show’s significant retooling between seasons. The changes found three regulars (Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn) being shown the door while two new actors joined with the casting of Elyes Gabel and Mark Valley as detectives — and Evan Katz jumping onboard as an executive producer. “We’re always thinking of ways to amp up the show and make it more exciting,” explained exec producer Christopher Murphey. “We didn’t want to take too much away from our A story, while still servicing separate B stories related to character.” So the production team began brainstorming ways to bring the personal life of star Dana Delany’s character into her investigative work. That meant adding a character with whom she had once had a relationship. And that led to the cast changes. Read More »
Wonderfalls star Caroline Dhavernas is reuniting with that series’ co-creator Bryan Fuller on his new NBC series Hannibal, which centers on the budding relationship between FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Dhavernas will play a beautiful Psychology professor who works as a consultant profiler for the FBI. She would like to be Will’s friend and fears that his recruitment by FBI agent Jack Crawford’s (Laurence Fishburne) will put him in harm’s way.
Game of Thrones alum Elyes Gabel is set for one of the two new regular roles on ABC’s Body Of Proof next season. He will play Det. Adam Schaeffer, a newly minted detective and partner to Det. Tommy Sullivan (fellow new regular Mark Valley. The new additions come in the wake of the departure of three BOP regulars whose options were not picked up in May: Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn.
Dana Delany is reuniting with her Pasadena co-star Mark Valley on her latest series, Body Of Proof. Valley is in final negotiations to join the ABC medical drama as a new regular. The former Human Target star will play Det. Tommy Sullivan, a sexy former NYPD detective who has transferred to Philadelphia to try to rekindle his relationship with Megan Hunt (Delany). They broke up twenty years ago because he cheated on her. Tommy is one of two new regular roles that Body of Proof is adding in the wake of the departure of three regulars whose options were not picked up in May: Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn. Valley, repped by WME and Untitled, most recently co-starred on NBC’s Harry’s Law.
24 alum Evan Katz has signed a deal with ABC Studios. Under the pact, he has joined the studio’s drama Body Of Proof as executive producer/showrunner and will also develop a script. Katz replaces Sunil Nayar who ran the procedural starring Dana Delany last season. Katz has been on the show for a month, working with creator/executive producer Chris Murphey and executive producer Matthew Gross on the creative overhaul heading into Season 3 that involved the departure of three regulars, Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn, and the introduction of two new detective characters.
Katz spent seven seasons on Fox’s 24, five of them as executive producer. He won a WGA Award for the real-time drama in 2004 and shared a best series Emmy with the rest of the series’ producing team in 2006. For the past two years, WME-repped Katz was under a deal at Universal TV. He served as showrunner on The Event and most recently served as a consulting producer on the NBC drama Awake, reuniting with 24 showrunner Howard Gordon who also ran Awake.
UPDATE FRIDAY 1 PM: Body Of Proof just issued a breakdown for the two new regular characters that will be added to the show next season: two male detectives, a former flame of Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) that is portrayed as the male lead, and his rookie partner:
DETECTIVE TOMMY SULLIVAN
Det. Tommy Sullivan is an early to mid 40′s former NYPD detective who has transferred to Philadelphia to try to rekindle his relationship with Megan Hunt. Tommy is from a long line of cops, blue collar, a man’s man. He’s physical, has a swagger and he’s smart. He’s affable and easy on the eyes. Cocky in a charming way, he’s able to fluster Megan in a way no one else can. He can stand up to her, go toe to toe with a twinkle in his eye. Tommy’s a bit of a lady killer: sexy and good-looking. They broke up twenty years ago because he cheated on her. He says he’s changed, that she can trust him. But it’s hard to keep lightning in a bottle. Which was always part of his appeal to her. A central and important part of the show, he will be the police side of our hybrid medical/police procedural. Passing clues back and forth with Megan, as he tries to win her back.
DETECTIVE ADAM SCHAEFFER
Det. Adam Schaeffer is a newly minted detective first grade who just turned 30. He’s a Philly native and the son of a high powered defense attorney. Joining the force was
… Read More »
ABC’s drama procedural Body Of Proof was the big winner in this year’s $100 million California production tax credit giveway, landing the biggest subsidy of all 28 film and TV projects that received allocations: $12.1 million. But the series starring Dana Delany may only get 59% of that amount if the series’ current order stands. A bubble show, sophomore Body Of Proof received a last-minute, 13-episode third-season order and did not land a spot on ABC’s fall schedule. But the series’ tax credit application for the California Film & TV Tax Credit Program was submitted for a 22-episode third season. (Body Of Proof‘s eligibility for up to 25% of its qualified expenditures stems from its cross-country move after the first season from Rhode Island to California. It first earned a California tax credit last year, making it automatically eligible this year again.)
Related: ‘Body of Proof’ & ‘Justified’ Among Productions That Won California’s $100M Tax Credit Lottery
A steady performer at 10 PM, Body Of Proof has been a moneymaker for producing studio ABC Studios as it is a strong international seller, and the tax credit makes the series even more appealing for Disney-ABC. That would make a back-nine order to a full-season 22 episodes a no-brainer. But as of now, Body Of Proof is not slated to come on until midseason (possibly returning to its Tuesday 10 PM slot if Private Practice ends its … Read More »
UPDATED: Last year, most midseason series received shorter orders for fewer of the standard 13 episodes new shows get. That included ABC’s GCB (10), The River (8) and Scandal and Don’t The B—- (7), CBS’ Rob (8) and NBC’s Bent (6) and Best Friends Forever (6).
This year, the networks are not as stingy to new shows, with only two midseason series, ABC’s drama Red Widow starring Radha Mitchell and NBC’s late pickup, comedy Next Caller starring Dane Cook, getting fewer than 13 episodes — 8 and 7, respectively.
But there are a number of returning series whose orders are shorter than the standard full-season 22 episodes (13 for midseason shows getting a second-season pickup). NBC did a lot of that on the comedy side, which the network’s topper Bob Greenblatt said at the NBC upfront was how they could afford to pick up as many (7) new comedy series. Of NBC’s returning comedy series only flagship The Office and Parks & Recreation have received 22-episode renewals. The rest, 30 Rock, Community, Up All Night and Whitney have been picked up for 13 episodes each. For 30 Rock, that marks the final season. During a press call on Monday, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly criticized the shorter orders for returning comedy series, calling them potentially “confusing.”
Also getting a 13-episode order is ABC’s procedural Body Of Proof, which is … Read More »
ABC’s medical procedural Body Of Proof has been renewed for a third season with a 13-episode order. It was unclear whether ABC would hold onto a pure procedural like Body of Proof with its schedule dominated by serialized dramas, but the series’ its chances have been steadily improving over the last few weeks. The series starring Dana Delany has been a reliable performer in the Tuesday 10 PM slot and also has been a big international seller for ABC Studios, which co-produces it with Matthew Gross Entertainment.