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. Fellow executive producer Matthew Gross thought the show needed to ratchet up the excitement/thriller factor “so it wasn’t just about solving a murder but also stopping something else from happening. We wanted to inject more octane into the show. It leaned us toward bringing up more of the law enforcement aspect (of things).”
Katz, an alum of Fox’s 24, was brought in with marching orders to inject “more energy and more dynamism” into Body Of Proof along with a “parallel of romantic tension.” He added, “It’s interesting to combine a thriller with a procedural, since it’s not that commonly done,” he said. “We’re looking for other kinds of conflict that also haven’t been done a lot before.” Why the necessity to change things up? To grow the ratings, of course, Katz confirmed. “We also wanted to give the network something to promote. Unfortunately, there’s no torture. That’s disappointing to me personally. (Beat) That’s a joke.”