Body of Proof: Should ABC Have Cancelled the Show?

Body of Proof canceled season threeABC has been searching for new hit dramas to replace their older ones for some time. Lost went off the air in 2010, Brothers & Sisters was cancelled last May, and Desperate Housewives is ending next spring. Last season, Body of Proof was the only new drama that held any promise and ABC renewed it. In retrospect, was that a mistake?

Body of Proof stars Dana Delany as Doctor Megan Hunt, a former neurosurgeon who became a medical examiner after a serious car accident. Megan can be difficult to work with but won’t give up until she gets answers and expects the best from herself and her co-workers. Others in the cast include Jeri Ryan, Nicholas Bishop, Geoffrey Arend, Windell D. Middlebrooks, John Carroll Lynch, and Sonja Sohn.

The show debuted in late March 2011 to a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 13.94 million viewers. In light of the failures of ABC’s other new dramas, this one looked very promising. The rating numbers fell off pretty quickly for subsequent episodes but the first season still ended up averaging a 2.3 rating in the demo and 11.13 million viewers. Performance-wise, Body of Proof was in the middle of the pack as the eighth most-watch show of ABC’s season (out of 18 scripted series).

Will Body of Proof get a third season?

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Last season ended with a disappointing 2.1 demo rating and this season didn’t start off much better, registering a 2.2 with 9.4 million viewers. The numbers have gotten even worse and the show has hit a series low of a 1.8 in the demo on three occasions. The seven episodes that have aired so far this season have averaged a 1.9 in the demo and 9.45 million, a decline of 17% in the demo when compared to last year’s average.

The show is currently the lowest-rated scripted series on the network. Though total viewership is fairly positive, unless the demo ratings get better, it’s hard to imagine that we’ll see ABC ordering any more episodes or a third season.

On the positive side, ABC only aired nine of the 13 installments that were produced for season one. Since the show started so late in the season, execs chose to hold the remaining four until season two. Combined with a typical second season order for 13 installments, they have 17 episodes for the 2011-12 season. Given the current numbers, that’s likely as close as Body of Proof is going to get to a full season order.

But, what do you think? Is Body of Proof still worth watching? Should ABC stick with it or just cancel it already?

Canceled and renewed TV show

106 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Kim walker says

    I love this show! I don’t watch much TV because my illness but I can’t wait for Body of Proof to come on each week. And if I can’t watch it the night it comes on I record it. Every time I find a show that is worth watching you guys take it off the air. Please keep this show on the air!! It is an awesome tv series and I love all the actors. If you take it off there won’t be anything on tv for me to look forward to watching.

  2. Carolyn says

    I like this show very, very much and would hate to see it go. I can only hope they renew it. I almost not want to get invested in any new show that abc puts on becasue they just end up cancelling them before they end the story line. Does V come to mind? It was not the only one. Body of Proof is a good show. It reminds of Quincy, now I’m telling my age but Quincy was a good show an so is Body Of Proof. It deserves to stay.

  3. Haleene W says

    There is no question they should leave it on. I don’t know what the problem is, maybe with something else going on that night, but I love this show. Delany always gives a great show, and I like the mix in this one. It is always interesting what the bodies say to her.
    It is a great show, so maybe it just needs to be moved. Personally, I am open for it 24/7 and give it 6 out of 5 stars.

  4. Missy says

    I love this show. It is one of the few I always make time for each week. So what if it doesn’t get the ratings of Dancing With the Stars? I for one am SICK to death of reality TV shows. I have enough reality to deal with – I don’t want to watch it on TV too.

  5. Fran says

    Love it
    Good acting.Love Delaney and Ryan together.Interesting stories.Why do all the good drama have to be canceled.

  6. Geri says

    I don’t watch a lot of TV but this is Castle are the two I make time for!! LOVE this show and especially the developing characters. I think the downturn started with the ex-husband the the boss thing – I know for me that had no place in the show. The relationship with her mother and her daughter, great. Megan doesn’t need extraneous characters (boyfriends, etc) to make this show interesting. Focus more on the main characters and finding the mystery aspect to the cause of death…. I think that’s what DIDN’T happen and why the show dropped off some. DON’T cancel this. Get better writers instead!

  7. Selene Valenz says

    Aside from “Happy Endings” Dana Delaney is the only reason I tune in to ABC. I’ve been hooked since the first episode.

  8. gregg says

    Interesting, They send to Atlanta, way down south in Georgia, while the closest place that would understand weaponized infectious materials would be Ft. Detrick, in Fredericksburg MD, the state just to the south of Pennsylvania. With possible suspects. Glad I’m now a writer.

  9. Ashley says

    I love this show! It’s the best and it is very informative. To Susan, not everyone would know that and they draw it out for dramatic purposes. DUH. If you don’t like it, watch something else. It’s called a remote, use one! U LOVE YOU DANA DELANY!

  10. says

    Body of Proof should definitely be canceled. I am not a doctor, nor do I work as an epidemiologist at the CDC. I did work for a state health department for 12 years, but even if I had not, just watching news programs and being interested in health matters would give anyone access to enough information to know from the trailers even (for the 3/26 epidsode) that the culprit is ebola virus. Even if it isn’t, ANYBODY at even the lowest level of public health work or interest would tag this as the FIRST suspected cause. THis long drawn out bunch of nonsense is agonizing to watch, so I won’t. Glad the program is canceled because it is a travesty of presentation o

  11. Lily Moon says

    Puleeeeeeeeze leave this show on the air. I have a complex as once I become a fan of a show, appreciate the hell out of it, love it to death–death it is, the show gets cancelled, sigh. I miss Prime Suspect terribly, will mourn In Plain Sight….leave these women in Law Enforcement alone !

    • Mrs. Randy E. Zeleznak says

      I’m with Lily Moon on this one completely! I too feel almost ‘responsible’ in that every time I wind up becoming utterly involved/engrossed with a show – usually a drama or like this – a medico/legal drama ( my fav! ) – some MORON who has ‘power’ pulls the plug even when SO MANY OF US are electronically SCREAMING NOT TO DO SO BECAUSE WE LOVE THE SHOW!!! I too was a HUGE fan of Prime Suspect w/Maria Bello … I too am mourning the end of In Plain Sight … and Body of Proof CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT be added to that already-brightly-burning-celluloid-bonfire ‘just because it can be’ … KEEP BODY OF PROOF ON THE AIR, DAMMIT!!! DO THE RIGHT THING FOR ONCE!!!!!

  12. Diane says

    I like Body of Proof very much. It is informitive and I think the cast gel well together. This deserves to be kept on, please give it the benefit of the doubt.

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