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.
Body Of Proof‘s cancellation after three seasons was a head-scratcher. The procedural was not a hit by any means, but it did improve its ratings in the second half of its most recent midseason run and its retool was well received creatively though not so much commercially. With the cancellation, 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. That is higher than three of ABC’s four new drama series — Lucky 7, Betrayal and Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. Cancelling Body Of Proof was a financial hit to sibling ABC Studios, which had incurred three seasons worth of deficits and was making a lot of money off the show internationally. Additionally, Body Of Proof had won the California tax credit lottery, helping keep its production costs manageable. With the cancellation, those incentives are now gone, so the producers must figure out another way to make the series financially appealing. I hear that may involve moving production to another state, possibly to its original location of Rhode Island where the series filmed its first season before moving to Los Angeles after winning the lottery. But most of all, the cancellation deprived ABC of a reliable drama backup, which would’ve come in handy when Lucky 7 fizzled in Body Of Proof‘s Tuesday 10 PM slot.
Following the May axing by ABC, ABC Studios fought hard to keep the series alive elsewhere, shopping it to established networks such as TNT and USA Network as well as emerging players, such as Tribune’s WGN America, but ultimately couldn’t find a new home for the show.
If it comes back, Body Of Proof will mirror the resurrection of another broadcast procedural with a female lead, CBS’ Unforgettable, which too was cancelled by CBS despite decent ratings. Like Body Of Proof, it explored a move to cable until CBS reversed its decision and picked up the show for a summer run, which recently led to another renewal.