BONES Boss Hart Hanson Talks Season Finale, “Finder,” Possible “Curtailed” Season 7

As we head into the final stretch of BONES‘ sixth season, many questions remain: When will the official word about season 7 come down? What will Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy mean for the show? What will happen with Hodgins (T. J. Tyne) and Angela’s (Michaela Conlin) baby? When are Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Deschanel) finally going to get it together and get it on?

Luckily, Daemon’s TV was there when Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson gave out some scoop about all of the above topics and teased April 21’s special “Finder” episode.

On a season 7 renewal

It feels like it’s getting down to the wire in terms of a renewal announcement, but Hart assured that this is normal negotiation and we should expect an announcement soon enough. “In 2009, it wasn’t settled until the weekend before Upfronts. I imagine this could be anywhere between now and May 15. I’m very confident we will come to a deal. There are all sorts of hoops and hurdles to jump through and over.”

On Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy

As wonderful as the real-life pregnancy news is for the expectant mother, it complicates the logistics for next season and Hart is unsure of exactly what will happen, though he admits, “Season 7 would probably be a curtailed season in some respects; we don’t know how much yet.”

All options for accommodating Emily’s pregnancy are on the table and Hart listed possible scenarios. “Do we do shows without Emily? Do we simply shut down when Emily is not available and thus do sixteen or eighteen episodes? These are all choices we have to make and I’m ready to pitch alternatives to the network, but of course we haven’t had those conversations yet.”

Hart explained that another possibility–probably the preferred one–is no longer feasible. “If we had enough scripts in the pipeline, we would have been to keep [production] going through the summer and take the hiatus when Emily went to have her baby, but we don’t have any scripts in the pipeline because we haven’t been picked up yet.”

How does all this affect Brennan? Hart laughed. “We have a lot of things to figure out about how to deal with Emily’s pregnancy. Never mind anything we decide to do with Brennan. We have a plan right now. I’m stubborn about saying what our plan is going into season 7. If I told you how we were going to proceed into season 7, it would give you too much information about how we’re planning to get out of season 6 .”

On the season 6 finale, “The Change in the Game”

Given such a pointed title, we have to wonder how much of a change the finale will actually bring. While Hart wouldn’t say much, he seems very pleased with where the end of the season leaves Bones. “The last two episodes of the season are going to run the whole gamut of tones that Bones does from A to Z. A lot happens in those last two episodes and I think the title of the season finale ‘The Change in the Game’ is about as much as I want to say about in any detail. It’s going to be one of those shows that the Bones audience will talk about and enjoy hugely. If anyone feels there’s an anti-climax to it, then I’ve totally failed at my job.”

With so much of Booth’s reaction to his break-up with Hannah focused on him blaming everyone and everything around him for his romantic failure, we have to wonder when or if he will take a good hard look at his own responsibility. Hart said that if he does that in the last couple of episodes, “it will be in a flash of light. How’s that for a tease?” He laughingly continued, “That’s about all I’m willing to say about it. I’ll tell you this–we’ve been building all year to something. I would hate to say what it was, but we’ve been building all year and I would hate to cheat the audience out of the experience we worked really hard to get them to, and that is in there.”

On Angela and Hodgins’ baby

What does the impending birth of Baby Hodgela mean for the show? Hart sees it as an added dimension. “As far as the baby goes, it moves into the family and will become another source of stories. I don’t expect it to diminish Michaela/Angela’s participation in the show one jot. We would like to show that it’s not nothing to have a baby in your life-it changes your life when you have a baby. We will make that part of the storytelling, but we don’t want to in any way diminish one of our most important characters.”

As for the baby’s potential blindness, Hart explained that for Hodgins and Angela, whom he called “the greatest couple in the world,” problems were going to have to come from external sources. “As things stand now, the baby has a 75% chance of being born fine and a 25% chance of being born blind. We just want to see how that looks to Hodgins and Angela, and I think it’s all right to say the finale has a lot to do with the birth and how they will proceed with their lives as a family.”

On the “Finder” episode

Thursday April 21’s episode serves as a back-door pilot for Hart’s new potential series based on Richard Greener’s ‘The Locator’ book series. While it’s part of Hart’s production deal to develop a pilot each year, he was going to skip it this year until he read “The Knowland Retribution” and realized it was a great, simple idea for a network series: “a guy who can find anything: people or thing.” He explained, “Good stories are created by people after a tangible thing or outcome and if their real desires are at odds with that, then you get a great story.”

Hanson talked a bit about casting the roles in “Finder” with unexpected actors, calling it “hilarious.” For example, Michael Clarke Duncan’s part was originally written for an “old, skinny white man.” Walter Sherman, the Finder himself, was initially darker–“he had brain damage from Iraq and had a darker side, but Geoff came in to talk to us and read the part and he was just really funny. If we don’t make him a star on Finder, then someone else will.”

Saffron Burrows plays Ike, the pilot/owner of The Ends of the Earth bar, and should there be a “The Finder” series, we will meet a third main character, Walter’s main off and on squeeze Isabelle, who will either be attached to the Miami FBI or the Miami Dade police force. In explaining Walter and Isabelle’s relationship, Hart noted, “I’d really like to avoid doing another will they or won’t they show.” There could also be a fifth character–someone at the bar to help Ike.

Introducing a new show within the context of an established one is a delicate balance. Hart called it “a cross-over with a series that doesn’t exist yet” and said, “My worry is that the Bones fans will feel away from their Bones people more than they would be comfortable unless the Finder people charm them instantly, which I hope happens.” Only Sweets doesn’t appear in the episode, so Hart hopes fans don’t feel like they’re too much away from a normal Bones episode, though he admits they had to focus on the Finder crew to hook fans for that show.

Okay, Bones fans, what do you think? How should Bones deal with Emily’s pregnancy? Would you rather have fewer episodes overall or have a few episodes without Brennan? What do you think “The Change in the Game” means? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Bones airs on Fox Thursdays at 9pm eastern/8 central.

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