February 10, 2012 1:41pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Announces 'Bones' Midseason Return Date
After a delayed premiere and two breaks, the bulk of Bones seventh season is finally on the schedule at Fox.
The network confirms the veteran procedural, starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, returns to the airwaves on Thursday, April 5. It enters the 9:00 p.m. timeslot after the freshman finale of The Finder. It's spin-off, which has yet to match Bones in ratings, wraps up its 13-episode order on March 29.
Sidelined by Deschanel's pregnancy, Bones order was originally cut to 13, but Fox brought the number up to 17 when she gave birth in September. The first 6 have already aired.
Still, the complete episode count of the season remains a big question. Network entertainment president Kevin Reilly said at the winter Television Critics Association press tour that 22 could be on the table, schedule permitting.
“We programmed 17, but we ordered 22 for the season,” said Reilly. "We ordered as many as they could produce with Emily, so if they can produce 22 when she comes back, that’s what we’ll make... We ordered, ultimately, it ended up being 17 because that was all she could do. But if she comes back, they may ultimately end up making 22.”
Another question is when those episodes might air. Episodes 14-17 don't yet have a home, with Reilly and showrunner Hart Hanson noting they may move into the next season or play in a separate run during the summer.