ABC’s Body of Proof launches its second season tonight at 10/9c, and unlike some sophomore shows that undergo a bit of tinkering, series lead Dana Delany says that outside of “hookier” cold opens to better hold onto the big Dancing With the Stars audience, this was a circumstance “where everything kind of worked, in a weird way,” so no wholesale changes were made.
Still, the eagle-eyed will spy some welcome tweaks.
Body of Proof stars Delany as Dr. Megan Hunt, a one time world-class neurosurgeon who, in the wake of an accident that ended her bread-and-butter career, takes a job as a Philadelphia medical examiner who gets perhaps a bit too involved in solving crimes.
With that foundation and its roster of supporting characters established in Season 1, Delany says the show “can afford more humor now,” while Megan’s style will get “a bit edgier and not so ‘main line Philadelphia.’” As she sees it, “When Megan was a neurosurgeon, she was dressing more like she was raised to be dressed, but now she is discovering who she is for the first time.”
“The first season you saw a lot of Megan’s life and story, while this season you’re learning more about the others,” says Jeri Ryan, who plays Dr. Kate Murphey, Megan’s boss and the new lover of her ex-husband. “Yeah, things get a little tense in the office” because of the ladies’ common bond, Ryan previews. “It’s a little awkward for everyone, actually.”
Kate must also juggle her new role as a “stepmom” of sorts to Megan’s teenage daughter, Lacey (newly promoted series regular Mary Mouser). “Kate is not a mom and she hadn’t planned on being a mom,” Ryan notes with a laugh. “And now she’s thrown into the middle of this already tense dynamic.” (As is Megan herself, whose meager parental guidance skills are put to the test when Lacey moves in with her mom.)
Other developments include greater involvement in problem-solving from Megan’s partner, Medical Investigator Peter Dunlop (played by Nicholas Bishop). “We also find out a little more about his family and his past,” says Bishop. “And then there’s romance — a lot of ‘elevator stuff’ in the workplace.”
No, those close-quarter clinches are not between Peter and Megan (as some viewers wish), but with him and Dani,a new ME staffer to be played by Nathalie Kelley (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift). “Peter turns into a lothario this season,” Delany tattles. “He has a lot of sex going on, which makes Megan jealous because I don’t have anything going on. That has to change!”
Elsewhere in Megan’s world, we’ll meet the wife of Detective Bud Morris “and know a bit more about his home life,” says John Carroll Lynch; Dr. Ethan Gross, says Geoffrey Arend, “will try to figure out how to connect with humans besides looking at them as just dead bodies”; and we’ll learn why it is that Ethan and sidekick Dr. Curtis Brumfield (Windell D. Middlebrooks) are distinctly dorky BFFs. (Middlebrooks sums it up thusly: “We each want what the other guy has, and since we can’t get it on our own, we might as well be a pair!”)
By taking what scored the show enough fans to merit a Season 2 pick-up, and sprinkling in more character development and a lighter tone, “Every episode that we have done thus far has been as great as the best episode of last season,” Arend, for one, avows. “And that’s really exciting.”