8:29am PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Renews 'Bones' for Ninth Season
Fox has ordered a ninth season of Bones. The flagship drama received an early pickup for the 2013-14 season ahead of the network's presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour.
With Kiefer Sutherland's Touch and midseason debut The Following both starting their limited runs in the next month, Bones is the only scripted drama guaranteed a full run next year.
“After more than 150 episodes, Bones continues to be one of television’s most dynamic and consistent dramas,” said Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly. “We at Fox, along with millions of zealous fans, look forward to seeing where the incredible creative team takes the series next season.”
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Bones' renewal was contingent on Fox, producers and 20th Century Fox TV securing contract renewals with stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz.
"They're in negotiations through at least season nine," creator Hart Hanson told reporters in September of negotiations that have been ongoing since the start of the current season. "We're pretty confident that they'll come to an agreement."
That confidence was slightly shaken by Boreanaz's insinuation this past summer that his time on the show was coming to an end.
"He loves his show, and he's better than ever," EP and co-showrunner Stephen Nathan said of the lead. "I think he wants him to come back as much as we want him to come back. It doesn't seem to be an issue."
A 2013 fall season without Bones would be an issue for Fox. The network, which said goodbye to House last year and only picked up two new dramas for this season, has unofficially canceled poorly rated Mob Doctor. The only other veteran drama, Fringe, ends its run in just two weeks.
And while Bones' ratings may have taken a hit since moving from Thursdays to Mondays, the show remains a consistent ratings performer. The current season is averaging a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers in Live Plus Same Day returns. Climbing to an average 3.0 rating after seven days of DVR usage, Bones is one of TV's biggest growers in the key demographic.