'Bones' Renewed for 12th and Final Season

The long-running Fox procedural will return for a 12-episode farewell.
Jordin Althaus/FOX

Bones is coming back to say goodbye.

The long-running Fox procedural starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz has been renewed for a 12th and final season, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The shortened final season will consist of 12 episodes, instead of the normal 22. Both stars will return, as will executive producers and showrunners Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson. The duo came on board at the start of season 11 after the departure of showrunner Stephen Nathan, who remains as an executive producer, along with series creator Hart Hanson.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have another season, so we can give the show, characters and fans the end they so richly deserve,” Collier and Peterson said Thursday in a statement. “Also knowing there is a Season 12, we can now write the most rewarding Season 11 finale possible — one we hope will leave our fans excited for what’s to come in this final season of Bones.”

Added Hanson: “In times like these, marked by instability and doubt, it’s comforting to know the world can count on at least one dependable beacon of stability. Apparently, that beacon is Bones. It just shows what you can do with an amalgam of genius cast, amazing crew, cunning writers, stalwart studio, sweat, a tough economy, a mercurial network, determination, luck, magic, miracles and the most loyal audience in the world.”

Although Bones continues to be a solid performer for the network — an impressive feat given its age and the sheer number of times the drama has been moved around on the network's schedule — the decision to say goodbye to Bones is not surprising. In November, executive producer Barry Josephson filed a massive lawsuit against Fox claiming that he was cheated out of profits from the series. Days later, Deschanel and Boreanaz filed a similar lawsuit for "tens of millions of dollars" in profits.

At the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in January, Fox TV Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman were unsure about the series' future. "We haven’t made the decision. If it’s going to be the end of the season, though, we’re going to give them plenty of time to start writing a meaningful ending to the show," Walden told reporters. "It’s got such a loyal viewership, and those viewers deserve a very satisfying ending. So we’re trying to be very sensitive about that. Not a hundred percent sure what we’re going to do yet. The legal matter, not resolved yet, has no impact really on our decision-making."

This season, the drama has thus far averaged a 1.7 rating among ages 18-49 in live-plus-seven numbers.

In a statement Thursday, Walden and Newman said, "Bones has been part of the fabric of our network and studio for over a decade, and during that time it has attracted one of the most devoted fan bases we’ve ever seen. So it was extremely important to us and to Hart, the producers and the cast that we send the show off in a way that gives those loyal fans a meaningful and satisfying conclusion. We'd like to thank Emily and David for anchoring this extraordinary group of talented people, as well as Hart, Stephen Nathan, Barry Josephson and this season's showrunners, Michael Peterson and Jonathan Collier, for delivering such an incredible series season after season.”

Series star and producer Boreanaz also issued a statement Thursday: “This is for the fans! Thank you to everyone at Fox and, of course, Dana and Gary — for all your support. Thank you to Hart, Stephen, Ian [Toynton], Michael and Jonathan. Also to the crew and cast for their countless support along the way! And I couldn’t have done it without you, Emily!”

Deschanel spoke out Thursday on Twitter shortly after news of the series' renewal and forthcoming end broke.

Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, T. J. Thyne, Jonathan Adams, Tamara Taylor and John Boyd also star in the series, which is produced by 20th TV in association with Far Field Productions and Josephson Entertainment.

Bones returns with new episodes on Thursday, April 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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