'Bones' Lawsuit: How a Hit TV Show Loses Money

Courtesy of FOX
David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel

An audit connected with a lawsuit filed in November by executive producer Barry Josephson reveals the show took in $518 million in just the first seven of its 11 seasons but lost nearly $45 million.

This story first appeared in the May 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

It's the classic Hollywood story: a TV show becomes a worldwide hit yet somehow ends up in the red when it comes to its studio paying the show's creative team. Such is the case with Fox's Bones, which, according to a lawsuit filed in November by executive producer Barry Josephson, took in $518 million in just the first seven of its 11 (and counting) seasons but lost nearly $45 million.

On April 18, a Los Angeles judge sent the case (as well as a similar complaint by stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel) to arbitration, but not before THR got its hands on an auditor's report (the revenue-and-expense breakdown is below). "As these numbers make abundantly clear, Fox's suggestion that Barry Josephson brought claims 'to attract headlines' is offensive and absurd," says his lawyer Dale Kinsella. "Mr. Josephson seeks redress for Fox's creative accounting."

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