The 'Proof' is in the ratings ... or not

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 12:00 AM Written by 


Viewers often chide networks for not giving TV shows enough time to find an audience. While that's sometime the case, there are also instances in recent years where networks did show patience and found themselves rewarded for it.

ABC's "Castle" began as a ratings loser but slowly grew into a show that's become a strong enough performer that the network is happy to have it on its schedule.

ABC showed similar patience last May when it renewed the low-rated medical examiner procedural "Body of Proof" starring Dana Delany. But so far the show's ratings remain somewhat anemic. I asked ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee about prospects for the show's future at the Television Critics Association winter press tour a few weeks ago in Pasadena, Calif.

Read what he had to say after the jump. ...

"Well, I am a huge fan of Dana Delany. I love her," Lee said. "And I know as we go into the back half of the season, they're going to have more fun with her and really push some of the more edgy elements that she brought in in the early stages of it. It is a show that we would love to work long‑term. Our affiliates love it. Gives us great lead‑in. And we're huge fans of the showrunners and Dana. So I'm hoping that that works well and we can bring it back."

Of course, Mr. Lee was enthusiastic about everything during his press conference, even ABC's failed "Charlie's Angels" reboot, so it would be wise to take his upbeat response with a grain of salt. "Body of Proof" has been given ample opportunity to find an audience. If viewers don't respond in the weeks ahead -- leading to improved ratings -- don't be surprised if the show is cut loose come May.

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