With a Season 10 pickup firmly under Bones‘ belt, producers of the Fox procedural are moving forward with Plan A and ending Season 9 with a doozy of a cliffhanger.
“We’re ending the year in a very surprising way,” teases EP Stephen Nathan. “Two different stories converge and it throws Booth and Brennan’s work relationship into turmoil and causes big, big changes for our people.”
Per Nathan, one of those plots centers on “a promotion that seems to exist within the FBI and they have their eye on Booth to fill this position,” while the other storyline involves a certain invisible serial menace. “The Ghost Killer [arc] becomes far more complex and conspiratorial, and very well might lead back to the FBI.”
In the more immediate future — specifically, March 10 when Bones returns from its winter hiatus to reclaim its Monday-at-8/7c perch — Booth will be dealing with an unresolved CIA issue when Freddie Prinze Jr. reprises his role as super-spy Danny Beck.
“We wanted to do an episode where we really saw the friendship between Booth and Danny, and also touch on the things that kept them apart,” explains Nathan of the atypically “dark and action-filled” outing. “What kind of a friendship exists when one person’s life is all secrets? And Danny’s got a lot of secrets.”
The episode does have its lighter moments, courtesy of a B-story that finds Brennan buying a life insurance policy. “Her rates are far more than Booth’s, and she doesn’t understand why since both of them are essentially doing the same job,” Nathan previews. “She’s penalized for going into the field and Booth is not. It’s a way for us to explore the difference between their [professional] partnership and the marriage.”
Fox’s Bones was just renewed for its 10th — and possibly final — season, and executive producer Hart Hanson already knows how he wants to wrap up the forensics drama. (He’s had a plan since Season 4, he says, though he admits, “I haven’t told anyone.”) Leading up to the finale, Hanson is conceptualizing a special episode that would find Brennan and Booth (Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz) looking back on and evaluating their work together. “It would take place in a spooky world where all the victims they got justice for show up, perhaps as ghosts,” Hanson says. “And a few bad [guys], too.”
Topping the list, says Hanson, would be the show’s first victim, missing Senate intern Cleo Eller; Lionel Little, the young coin collector from the first Christmas episode, who died in the 1950s; and Chelsea, the sick girl whose mother had AIDS and killed her in Season 2. “But,” says Hanson, “I don’t know what we’d do about the [Season 8] Neanderthal.”
Last week Fox renewed “Bones” for a 10th season, guaranteeing the quirky procedural starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz would live to see its 200th episode — and with no mention of No. 10 being its final go-round.
It’s an unlikely milestone for a show that has endured multiple moves around the schedule and speculation for the past few seasons about its probable end date.
“They always say every year that they expect it to be the last and then they look around and realize the ‘Bones’ audience is actually growing,” executive producer Stephen Nathan tells The Post. “We don’t quite understand it either. A decade seems like an awfully long time. We will be prepared for a series-ender but we will plan on a season-ender.”
On the air since 2005, “Bones” is Fox’s third most-watched drama, averaging 9.1 million viewers behind newer entries “The Following” (11.2 million viewers) and “Sleepy Hollow, ” (11 million viewers).
And it’s hardly the only graying drama refusing to quietly retire. For all the buzz that younger, sexier series like “Scandal” and “The Blacklist” (rightly) generate, an older class of drama veterans is quietly drawing an equal audience after a decade on the air.
CBS’ long-running “NCIS” is the poster child for a drama only growing stronger with age — the Mark Harmon headliner still draws an average of 21.8 million viewers a week in its 11th season and is prepping a possible New Orleans-set spinoff (it already has “NCIS: LA”).
“Criminal Minds,” which will air its 200th episode on Feb. 5, is averaging an impressive 13 million viewers in its ninth season while the network’s oldest series, “CSI” (14 seasons), still draws 12 million viewers a week.
“Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey recently signed new two-year deals, increasing the likelihood that the ABC medical drama will reach a 12th season. And with good reason — though it’s no longer the network’s most-watched drama, at an average of 12.7 million viewers it’s just behind “Scandal” (13 million viewers) and “Castle” (12.9 million viewers — it’s getting up there itself at six seasons).
If there’s a secret to keeping a show alive for so many seasons, it seems to be create a family of characters that viewers want to have in their living room year after year, say producers.
“People have really connected with those characters,” says “Criminal Minds” showrunner/executive producer Erica Messer. “And then on top of that, I think that fans tune in every week because of the battle between good and evil — it’s almost that simple. Out of 200 episodes, about 195 of them we’ve stopped the bad guy and there’s been a satisfying end to that week’s journey.”
That ability to neatly tie up each episode with a bow plays into the reason that the longest-running dramas tend to be procedurals, with seemingly limitless cases to help drive stories in the absence of character-based drama.
“The construct that we get to hang all the great character stuff that they give us on a murder every week also gives us that longevity, because this is a procedural,” Nathan says.
“In this weird way it feels endless because the cases every week really are driven by human behavior and there’s a huge spectrum of what that is,” Messer adds. “So I do feel there’s a version of that where this show can just keep on going.”
And while buzz will certainly die down with age, there is a wisdom of experience that can come in handy for the grueling task of churning out 22 episodes season after season.
“One of the advantages about a show that goes for this long is that our crew . . . they work together very well,” says “Bones” creator/executive producer Hart Hanson. “We’re not constantly putting out production fires. The show looks and sounds more expensive than it is because of how good that crew is. It lets us tell more stories.”
No one can accuse David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel of being anything but 100 percent game.
The longtime Bones co-stars — without any prompting from Fox — went way off script while shooting a recent scene and crafted a promo that not only touts this Sunday’s Super Bowl, but also the Bruno Mars-headlined halftime show, and the special post-Bowl installment of New Girl featuring Prince, and this Friday’s all-new Bones, and their underdog lead-out Enlisted.
They did the whole thing sans a script and in under 40 seconds.
The results are below.
It’s official everybody, “Bones” has been renewed for a 10th season! Exciting, right?! That is not the only news of the day, though. It has also been announced that the show will be moving back to it’s Monday timeslot starting March 10th. Read more below:
It’s a double-dose of good news for Bones fans.
Not only has the durable drama been renewed for a 10th season, but the show is moving back to its old Monday-at-8 pm timeslot beginning March 10.
“Over the course of nine seasons, Bones has grown from a hit crime procedural into a beloved pillar of our lineup that resonates with fans in a way that only the best of shows can,” said Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly in a statement. “Our viewers have embraced Emily, David and the entire cast and characters of Bones as their very own, and I think they are going to love what Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan have planned for Season 10!”
Kitchen Nightmares will take over Bones‘ Friday-at-8 perch on Friday, Feb. 28. Almost Human wraps its rookie season on Monday, March 3.
FOX boss Kevin Reilly spoke on Monday (January 13) at the Television Critics Association winter press tour and gave us a little insight into the 10th season of “Bones.” Unfortunately, he is saying it is likely to be the series final season. However, they are still in negotiations and nothing is set in stone. So don’t worry just yet. When the final word comes out, I’ll let you all know.
Bones Season 10 appears to be a fait accompli.
“I would anticipate it will be back,” Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, adding that the renewal deal is currently being hammered out. Reilly also noted that longtime EP Stephen Nathan will take over as showrunner as Hart Hanson segues to his new drama Backstrom.
Following his formal exec presentation, Reilly indicated to reporters than any Season 10 would “likely” be Bones‘ last.
Brennan (Emily Deschanel) once said she’d never wear white, but she broke that vow when she walked down the aisle to marry Booth (David Boreanaz) on the Oct. 21 episode of Bones, appropriately titled “The Woman in White.”
“It was one of those dresses where, when [Emily] put it on, it was like, ‘Ahh… that’s the one,” Bones costume designer Robin Lewis West told EW of the embroidered lace off-the-shoulder wedding gown. “She tried on a lot of dresses, but this one fit her beautifully.”
Before saying yes to the dress, West’s wardrobe team searched the racks at a number of L.A.-area bridal shops for a gown that would suit the style of the character, flatter the actress who plays her, and fit the specific guidelines laid out in the script. As for the groom, one great designer suit and a signature accessory, and he was ready to say “I do.”
Read on for all the details Brennan’s dress, Booth’s tux and the interns’ period costumes.
First (and perhaps most importantly), what about that dress? “[Brennan] had saved a picture from her childhood, from 1985… so we had to make the dress look like the picture. It couldn’t be too modern,” West said of the Legends by Romona Keveza gown, which she found at Panache in Beverly Hills. Though the team initially considered a few less traditional options — including having the bride wear a color — “they just didn’t look like a wedding dress.” A custom-made belt, Judith Jack earrings, Charles David shoes, a Panache bracelet, and a pearl-embellished hair pin that served as Bones’ something blue were the finishing touches.
The groom wore a Hugo Boss tuxedo and an Anto shirt accessorized with Paul Smith skull cross-bone cuff links. “We wanted a little touch of the theme of the show,” West explained.
As for the guests, Angela (Michaela Conlin) wore a navy blue Monique Lhuillier dress, Cam (Tamara Taylor) opted for a classic black frock from Karen Millen, and — in keeping with the storyline that saw Hodgins “borrowing” outfits from the Jeffersonian’s History of Fashion exhibit — the interns added a vintage vibe to the occasion in period costumes rented from the Motion Picture Costume Company and the Western Costume Company.
The designer says the clothes helped make the event feel real. “It was exciting for everybody. I got a little teary eyed, it felt like a real wedding,” she admitted of getting verklempt when the scene was filmed. ”For the fans, it was like, ‘Season nine! It finally happened!’”
Next up — Bones’ bachelorette party! “We shot [the scene] yesterday. I don’t know if [the details are] a secret or not, but I’ll tell you one thing… we did a lot of bedazzling,” West hinted. “We spent three days with hot glue guns, beads, and sequins. There are lots of sparkles.”
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes… the burning questions!
With Booth and Brennan’s wedding now a piece of television history, Bones exec producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan are dishing and telling about the ceremony’s biggest mysteries — including, but not limited to, Christine’s whereabouts, the popular alum they tried (and failed) to wrangle, Brennan’s original (unused) vows, and David Boreanaz’ surprising contribution to the script.
Plus, Hanson and Nathan tease a possible little brother or sister for little Christine, a long overdue showdown between Booth and Angela, and a Big Bad that may not have to be seen to be believed.
TVLINE | How long did you know that the note from Season 2′s “Aliens in the Spaceship” would be used as Brennan’s vows?
HART HANSON: I actually wrote the note from that episode a gazillion years ago to sort of remind me to use it [in a future episode]. And when we discussed referencing it in the wedding episode, I dragged out the actual note and [realized] it was totally unsuitable for wedding vows. [Laughs] So they had to be completely rewritten.
TVLINE | What did the original note say?
HANSON | It was [Brennan telling Booth], “Don’t blame yourself if you didn’t get to me in time. I enjoyed working with you.” It didn’t lend itself to the poetry of wedding vows.
TVLINE | How much debate was there about what ultimately was written in that note?
HANSON | There wasn’t much debate. There was more debate about Booth‘s vows. I wrote something, and then David — who in his heart is a poetic guy — reminded me about something that gave us a whole different take. He said, “You know, we’re getting married in the exact spot where Brennan first chased down Booth [in the pilot] to say she could be one of his ducks.” And I thought, “That’s the way Booth would be, too — sort of literal and accidentally poetic at the same time.” So that came straight from David.
TVLINE | Why did you decide not to have a traditional church wedding?
STEPHEN NATHAN | We wanted to have our cake and eat it too. We did have them try to get married in a church, because it was something Brennan had already promised Booth. But we wanted to find some way to twist that, because nothing is easy on Bones. So we thought, “Eh, what the hell — we’ll burn the church down.”
TVLINE | Why wasn’t Christine in attendance?
HANSON | The twin girls playing Christine were there. They had a bad day. They were unhappy. And we just didn’t want to put the image of a crying child on the screen. And we also didn’t want to torture the child. That’s what happens when you have kid actors; some days are not good days.
NATHAN | Clearly Twitter will go, “Boo! Hart and Stephen are ass h—s and morons for not putting Christine in.” But, really, sometimes, there’s not much you can do. Life comes in and calls the shots.
HANSON | There was one gorgeous shot that never came to fruition. The idea was that little Christine was going to walk along and throw petals. And God bless [the twins' wranglers] they tried and tried and tried… But there were a lot of strangers there and it was scary… And the cattle prod didn’t help. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Was there anyone you wanted back but couldn’t get?
HANSON | We really wanted Stephen Fry [aka Booth's shrink Gordon Wyatt]. We really wanted Billy Gibbons [aka Angela's dad]. We debated a ton whether or not to have Booth and Brennan’s siblings come. By the way, our [guest-actor] budget at this point was getting very, very high, so we did not get everyone we wanted.
NATHAN | It was such an expensive episode to do. We had to make some difficult choices.
TVLINE | Are we going to see Angela apologize to Booth for the way she treated him after he broke off his engagement to Brennan? Or did that take place off screen?
NATHAN | You will see that. That’s in the future. We didn’t want everything to be to [neatly tied up]. That’s going to drag out a little bit more. It’s a very complicated thing, and we found a way to do it that is more fun and more complex.
HANSON | There are a few things that usually happen before a wedding that didn’t happen before this wedding. But we will try and find a way to make them happen after the wedding.
TVLINE | Like a bachelorette party?
HANSON | Like a bachelorette party.
NATHAN | The wedding happened so quickly that Angela didn’t have time to plan a bachelorette party. So the [Nov. 11 episode] is the one where they have the party. And that brings up all the stuff between Booth, Angela and Brennan.
TVLINE | When is the bachelor party?
NATHAN | There is no bachelor party.
TVLINE | Looking further ahead, there’s another Big Bad on the horizon. When will we meet him/her?
HANSON | There’s a debate between our characters whether or not it’s a real Big Bad or just Pelant’s way to mess with their minds from the grave. Brennan believed Pelant, but it’s really hard to prove that there is actually a serial killer out there.
NATHAN | We’re writing the episode now where we deal with all of this. It’s the 10th episode. And also, we don’t know if we’ll [meet the killer] in that episode. Sometimes we don’t actually see the serial killer for a while. The working name for this serial killer is “The Ghost Killer.” Ghosts are pretty ephemeral.
TVLINE | What’s the next milestone for Booth and Brennan — divorce?
HANSON & NATHAN | [Laughs]
NATHAN | Maybe they’ll commit the perfect murder. They have so much experience now.
HANSON | Christine is growing up, so there will be milestones like going to pre-school. And we have to start talking about whether Christine should be an only child or not. I think they’ll have differing opinions on that.
Booth and Brennan, don’t pack your things just yet…
Fox will keep Bones in its current time slot for a little longer than planned, the network announced Monday. The fan-favorite drama will make its Friday debut on Nov. 15 instead of the previously announced Nov. 8.
Meanwhile, Almost Human — originally scheduled to premiere on Monday, Nov. 4 — will now get underway with a two-night premiere on Sunday, Nov. 17, and Monday, Nov. 18.
The change will allow J.J. Abram’s futuristic cop drama Almost Human to benefit from its football doubleheader lead-in; the series’ second episode then will bow in the Monday-evening, pre-Sleepy Hollow spot Bones now occupies.
When the Bones producers announced at Comic-Con in July that Booth and Brennan would indeed tie the knot this season, many fans were surprised to learn how early in the season it would happen.
And they weren’t alone! “I thought if we ever got married, it would be the series finale,” star Emily Deschanel tells TVGuide.com. “I think it’s wonderful that it’s coming so soon this season. And not even during sweeps!”
Indeed, after eight seasons of romantic tension, a baby and more sets of human remains than we can even begin to count, Dr. Temperance Brennan (Deschanel) and FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) are finally getting their happy ending. “It’s been a long time coming,” Deschanel says. “At the beginning, it would be hard to imagine Brennan getting married to anybody, but now it makes sense. This is just a wonderful example of Brennan changing. It’s wonderful to get to see her get to the place that almost seemed impossible at the beginning.”
However, the happy day was hard fought. After Brennan finally proposed to Booth in the Season 8 finale, Booth was forced to turn her down in order to keep serial killer Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) from killing innocent people. Although Booth has since dispatched Pelant, the experience forced Brennan to question whether opening up her heart was the wisest choice. Fortunately, Deschanel says, Brennan found a silver lining in the experience.
“She learned she can use science to have faith,” Deschanel says. “She can extrapolate data that she has acquired from knowing Booth for all this time to make a leap of faith in Booth. She makes a big paradigm shift in that episode and that continues throughout the season, where she’s open to giving up control. She doesn’t know if it will work out, but she’s willing to make that commitment. She has faith and hope that it will work out.”
But that faith will be tested on Monday’s episode (8/7c, Fox), when a last-minute case (and a couple other disastrous turns of events) threaten to cancel the wedding. “At times, Brennan doesn’t know if this wedding is going to go through,” Deschanel says. “But she has the hope and faith that she didn’t have before. So, there’s the little glimmer of faith that, at some point, they will get married. But will it happen in a way that she will be happy about? That’s the other question. But she knows she’s marrying the right person, that getting married is the right thing to do. So, how all that happens doesn’t really matter.”
Once the wedding date was set, it was important for the producers to assemble as many familiar faces as possible to attend the nuptials. The guest list includes all of the (strangely dressed) squinterns, Brennan’s father Max (Ryan O’Neal), Booth’s mother (Joanna Cassidy), grandfather (Ralph Waite) and son Parker (Ty Panitz) as well as Cyndi Lauper as the medium Avalon Harmonia, who sings the couple down the aisle.
“It was wonderful to assemble as many people as we could,” executive producer Stephen Nathan says. “It shows how rich and full their lives are. To have all these people come together for them, it really makes you see how far the two of them have evolved and what that relationship has become. It was very moving for us. It’s sort of a mini history of the show.”
That historical element extends to the couple’s wedding vows. “I love the vows,” Deschanel says. “Without giving too much away, it answers some questions that fans have had from seasons before. I thought it was a wonderful way for both Booth and Brennan’s vows to tie in our past to our future.”
But what does that future look like? “The challenge is seeing how solid this relationship is,” Nathan says. “We’re going to be challenging them with ever more difficult and dangerous cases and see how that impacts their lives. They’re going to have to deal with certain realities that they haven’t had to deal with before. … While it’s never going to be a domestic show, there are elements that will confront them.”
But as Nathan told us at the beginning of the season, there’s no need to worry about the couple living happily ever after. “The essential difference between these characters is not going to change and that’s the engine that drives the show,” Nathan says. “We don’t want to put these two in a situation that we dreamt about for nine years and then imply that the relationship is in jeopardy,” he says. “This is a relationship the audience has been rooting for [for] almost a decade, and we’re going to honor that relationship.”
The Bones wedding airs Monday at 8/7c on Fox.
Do you have anything about the Bones wedding? —Tatiana
Well, it happens. That much I can confirm. But the path to holy matrimony is a bumpy one for B&B. Among the pre-ceremony obstacles: smoke, fire, death and a huge satchel of cash. But make no mistake, the episode is a wholly satisfying love letter to fans, that includes a performance from resident psychic Cyndi Lauper, a nifty call-back to Season 2 (specifically, this episode) and a ton of returning guest stars (including, yes, Parker.)
Might Stephen Fry be appearing at the Bones wedding? Gordon Gordon Wyatt is still one of my favorite recurring characters. –Tina
“While we wanted to include all of the Bones ‘family,’ scheduling conflicts and other commitments prevented some of our characters from making it to the wedding,” EP Stephen Nathan reports. “But we’ll send them all pictures.”
Question: Still catching my breath after Monday’s Bones. Any scoop on what’s to come in future episodes? —Amelia
Ausiello: Save the date: Booth and Brennan will tie the knot on Monday, Oct. 21. Who wants to be my plus-1?!
Question: As a reward for acing my bone identification exam, I believe I deserve some scoop on the show that inspired me to do so well, Bones! What’s going to go on with the new Big Bad? —Rebecca
Ausiello: Here’s what exec producer Stephen Nathan was willing to divulge: “We are creating a new killer who loves anonymity as much as Pelant loved being pursued.”