Dana Delany's Body of Proof has had some work done since last April's season finale -- but despite the removal of a couple Body parts (John Carroll Lynch, Nicholas Bishop and Sonja Sohn will not be returning) and the addition of several new faces (most notably, Mark Valley as a detective/love interest for Megan), the stars of ABC's medical examiner drama promise all the nips and tucks were designed to give their super-passionate fans the best viewing experience possible.
"None of us would be here if it wasn't for the fans," Jeri Ryan tells ETonline of her show, which draws solid ratings, but little critical acclaim. "They have always supported the show, and that gives us, the actors, an insane amount of energy to feed off of."
For Ryan's character, Kate Murphy (Chief Medical Examiner and Delany's boss), the biggest change comes as she announces plans to run for congress. "That has repercussions in and out of the office for her," Ryan says. "In the office, she's now juggling two full-time jobs: a political campaign and her job as the chief medical examiner. It doesn't always mesh well."
But one place Ryan promises much more meshing is in Murphy's relationship with Megan Hunt. Previously the two women were constantly at odds both in and out of the office (Kate briefly dated Megan's ex-husband, Todd).
"Their relationship is so much more mature and realistic and complex this season," Ryan says. "Fighting was an easy place for the characters to go in the first season, so we were both really pleased by the end of season two they were actually friends. I love that they have mutual respect for each other and acknowledge that they have mutual respect for each other."
Although Ryan is quick to add, "I mean, they will still not enjoy each other from time to time; co-workers will always get on one another's nerves, but they shouldn't just have conflict because they're women knocking heads over one being the boss. That's just too simple."
The cases of the week also promise to get more complex this year, as the first string of episodes deals with sex trafficking, a plane crash, a blackout at The ME's office and a zombie attack. "There's a lot of excitement and I think the fans are really going to enjoy the higher stakes stories we've got for them this year."
Body of Proof premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.