Showrunner Hart Hanson 'Confident' in 'Bones' Renewal

Co-star Emily Deschanel's pregnancy could impact production on the Fox series.

With renewal negotiations under way, Bones showrunner Hart Hanson is confident the Fox drama will be back for a seventh season.

“I’m very confident we will come to a deal,” Hanson said Monday during a conference call with reporters, of the protracted negotiations between Fox and 20th TV over the show’s license fee.

Throwing another kink in the show’s future plans is co-star Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy, which Hanson said could impact the seventh season.

“Season 7 would probably be a curtailed season in some respect,” he said. “Do we do shows without Emily, do we simply shut down when Emily is not available and just do 16 or 18 episodes or do we do a few episodes without her.”

“We have had multiple production conversations with the studio but in the end, the network will weigh in heavily,” Hanson said of how the actress’ pregnancy will impact the series’ future.

“For example, were we to do four episodes without Emily, is the network interested in that for Bones or does their testing show that that would hurt the show? Those are all conversations we haven’t had yet that I have to be ready for any one of those contingencies of what the Bones show will look like in Season 7.”

As for the license fee discussions, Hanson said Fox and 20th TV are “talking like crazy,” and noted that the last time the series was picked up, in 2009, official word didn’t come until the weekend before Fox was set to present its lineup to advertisers at the annual upfront presentation in New York.

“I imagine [a renewal] could be anywhere between now and May 15,” he said, adding that various models for the series are being considered.

“Are we going to make 16, are we going to make 18 are we going to make 22 episodes? Those are all the models that are going through,” he said. “Far be it for me to say how that affects the license fee negotiations. We’re used to that over here right now because House is in not quite the same place but a very similar place to us.”

Last week’s episode drew 11.5 million viewers in its plum post-American Idol time slot.