10:11pm PT by Michael O'Connell
PaleyFest: 'Bones' Creator Hart Hanson on a 2-Season Pickup, Those Extra 4 Episodes
To say the last year of Bones has been an unconventional one for a network drama probably wouldn't do it justice.
In addition to the onscreen revelation of the lead characters pairing off after six seasons of sexual tension, production of the seventh was sidelined by star Emily Deschanel's real life pregnancy, cutting the episode count and splitting the run into three parts. Throughout all of this, creator Hart Hanson has relinquished day-to-day showrunner duties to EP Stephen Nathan to launch spin-off The Finder.
This has prompted a lot of confusion over the immediate (and long-term) future of the series -- something Hanson helped clear up, speaking with The Hollywood Reporter before Bones' panel at the 2012 PaleyFest.
"There are rumors that they'd like to pick us up for two seasons, we'll see," he tells THR. "But I feel very, very confident about Season 8. If I think about Season 9, my head starts to hurt."
That's not to say he doesn't want it. When asked how far he'd like to see his series go, Hanson was looking well beyond just one more year.
"I'd like season 10," he says. "After that, there would have to be another huge change in the series. But I can see through to season 10. Who knows if they want us that long or not."
Inside the series' panel, Hanson confidently echoed his thoughts on a renewal. "We're going to get Season 8 and possibly 9," he told the crowd. "There's always the business side... but in many ways, Bones is Fox's most successful hour-long scripted drama."
For its part, the network has gone out of its way to squeeze as much out of Bones' abbreviated, chopped-up seventh run as possible -- but when Fox president of entertainment Kevin Reilly confirmed an addition four episodes to the scheduled 13, it did create some confusion over where they would end up.
"Our episode 13 is our big season finale," Hanson tells THR of the episode currently filming. "And then there are four episodes that exist separate of the run that are going to run air... we don't know when. Whether it will be over the summer or salted in with next season, we have no idea. Those four episodes have to exist on their own. They have to be separate from each other and separate from any arc. As a result, they're weird. We kind of did some weird things."
Bones, moving to its new Monday slot, returns April 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET.