The stuff of legend


“Body of Proof”

Tuesday 10pm, ABC
Dana Delaney is much missed on “Desperate Housewives,” but you can’t blame the magnetic ginger for wanting a show of her own. In this new procedural (I know, I know…) she plays Megan Hunt, a hotshot neurosurgeon who becomes a medical examiner after a car accident pushes her out of the OR. Solving crimes is admirable, but I’d like to point out that Marvel Comics character Dr. Stephen Strange became the master of the mystical arts after going through pretty much the exact same origin set-up, so Megan might be setting her sights a little low. But medical examiners are usually pretty badass on the “Law & Order” shows, and Delaney is just generally awesome, so this could be good. The show also stars hot Aussie Peter Dunlop as a cop-turned-ME and Jeri Ryan, who somehow continues to get regular acting work despite being awful at it.

“Taxidermy USA”

Thursday 10pm, Discovery
The zeitgeist works in mysterious ways. Ever notice how multiple movies or TV shows with nearly identical premises pop up at the exact same time? Like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the comets-will-destroy-us-all flicks of 1998? There are other examples, but for now, prepare for the age of the taxidermy reality series. Yep, that’s right, shows that go into the ins and outs of stuffing dead animals. In addition to this special, which focuses on three families of taxidermists that stuff everything from African lions to black bears to house cats, there’s another show coming up on the History Channel in a few weeks that’s devoted solely to taxidermists in Alaska. Dude, people are weird.

“The Borgias”

Sunday 9pm, Showtime
Now that “The Tudors” has wrapped up all of its wife-swapping costume drama, Showtime has moved on to another of history’s most infamous families. “The Borgias” tells the (gloriously embellished) story of the family of the same name, Spanish outcasts who clawed their way to the height of power in Renaissance Italy. Award-nominated actor and noted scenery-chewer Jeremy Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia, the patriarch who manipulated himself into the papacy despite the fact that he lied, cheated, whored, and worse. His equally ambitious and morally ambiguous kids were no prizes either; a pair of warring mistresses just adds to the drama, and today the dynasty is renowned for its corruption and ruthlessness. In other words, this should be lots of fun.