"I had to do a lot of house reconstruction. I had mold in my house and I got rid of it in a green way: I replaced the floorboard with green floorboard," says Dana Delany, figuring, "I might as well do it better." Her workplace is green, too: the set of "Body of Proof" has eliminated plastic water bottles and uses electronic distribution instead of printing out materials whenever possible. The ABC drama, in which Delany plays a Philadelphia medical examiner, relocated to a roomier Los Angeles soundstage after filming its first season in a Providence, R.I., warehouse, and although it's a longer commute for the actress, she has no problem with the tradeoff. "I listen to Seriously Sinatra in the car," she says, glad to be back on home turf and close to friends.

In the new season, premiering Sept. 20, Delany's character, Dr. Megan Hunt, "is settled into her work and is a little more relaxed." Her drive, intelligence and curiosity are intact, "But there will be more of her sardonic humor," and her wardrobe will be "younger, a little more edgy. She's relaxing into who she really is." Megan found out her ex-husband (Jeffrey Nordling) is dating her boss (Jeri Ryan), and isn't happy about it, especially with her teenage daughter (Mary Mouser) in the middle, but it won't turn into a catfight. "It's more about what you do under the circumstances."

Guest stars include Rick Fox, playing a suspect in the premiere, and later, "American Idol" runner-up Crystal Bowersox as a prisoner, in her acting debut. "She was instinctive, she asked questions, she was excellent," praises Delany. Afterward, "she pulled out her guitar and serenaded all of us, which was really nice of her. She didn't need to do that."

Comfortable in the medical milieu, having played a nurse in "China Beach," a doctor on "Presidio Med," and had a grandfather who was a doctor, Delany likes playing the heightened drama inherent in the genre, even if the scientific dialogue and procedures are more complicated these days. She finds medicine "endlessly fascinating," and is comfortable with autopsies, although she'd like to attend one with a female cadaver. "I've had four men now, and I really want to see the female reproductive system," she explains.

Over her hiatus, Delany was in New Orleans, shooting a movie with Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent called "Freelancers," about dirty cops. "I play the wife of the D.A. in New York and I seduced 50 when he was a young kid," she notes. She'd love the chance to reprise her role as Katherine Mayfair in the final season of "Desperate Housewives," if she's written in. Those who remember her from that series will get the reference to it in the "Body of Proof" opener: "I used to live on a cul-de-sac like this. Nothing is ever what it seems."

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