Two-time Emmy winner Dana Delany is set to star opposite Ron Perlman in Amazon Studios‘ drama pilot Hand Of God, written by Ben Watkins and directed by Marc Forster. It centers on the powerful Judge Harris Pernell (Perlman), a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side who has a religious awakening and starts having visions and hearing voices through his ventilator-bound son that could be God speaking to him. Delany will play Pernell’s wife, Crystal. UTA-repped Delany most recently starred in ABC’s Body Of Proof. She won two lead actress Emmys for China Beach.
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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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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 »
New ABC programming chief Paul Lee is looking to upgrade another series his predecessor put on the low-trafficked Friday night. Beginning November 5, ABC will air reality veteran Supernanny in the Friday 8 PM slot. That is where Secret Millionaire, which ABC acquired after a run on Fox, was originally slotted though it was never assigned a premiere date. This follows a similar move ABC made last week with the Dana Delany-starring new procedural Body of Proof, originally slated to air Fridays at 9 PM, which was also held back and will be replaced by Primetime: What Would You Do?, beginning next week. Lee is said to be high on both Secret Millionaire and Body of Proof and is planning to give them a proper launch elsewhere. He just added another building block for midseason, a winter edition of Wipeout. In May, ABC announced a renewal for Supernanny but the series did not get a spot on the schedule and was held as backup. ABC also announced today that it will be preempting struggling new drama The Whole Truth tonight for a 20/20 special on the Chilean miners’ rescue.
Back in May, ABC’s previous boss Steve McPherson went for younger, hipper fare when programming new series Monday through Thursday. The show that seemed to be the closest to the ABC brand, Body of Proof - a female-driven procedural with a quirky central character and headlined by a familiar ABC star, Dana Delany – was sent to Fridays. Now, with many of those Monday-Thursday series crumbling and one, My Generation, already canceled, new ABC chief Paul Lee is taking a second look at Body of Proof and is planning to give it a time slot upgrade. Read More »
ABC’s new character-driven procedural Body of Proof stars Dana Delany as an ambitious medical examiner whose first career as a brilliant neurosurgeon was dashed after a car crash. Executive producer Matthew Gross dismissed parallels to the 1970s NBC series Quincy, M.E. “This is not your father’s Quincy; it’s a new take on medic examiners,” he said. “We set out to do a character-driven procedural, started off with Dana’s character, and grew form there.” With that, Delany cracked a joke about her resemblance to Quincy star Jack Klugman. Read More »