Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

At tonight’s PaleyFest panel on Fox’s forensic series Bones, creator/executive producer Hart Hanson and executive producer Stephen Nathan could not reassure fans that the series, now in its seventh season, will definitely make it to a Season 8, or a Season 9.  But Hanson was bold enough to say he believes the show will be back. “There’s always the business side between the studio and the network, and they have to figure our license fees and things,” Hanson said. “But, I hate to say this, in many, many ways, Bones is Fox’s most successful hour-long scripted drama. I’m pretty confident that we’ll be back for Seasons 8 and 9, yeah.” Anticipating a Season 8, the producers said Bones would end Season 7 with a cliffhanger although they would not reveal details.  “There will be a large cliff that people will be hanging from,” Nathan deadpanned. “It’ll change the course, certainly the beginning, of season 8.”

The producers, appearing on the panel, hosted by TVLine’s Michael Ausiello, with star/executive producer Emily Deschanel and cast members David Boreanaz (also a producer and four-time director of the show), Michaela Conlin and John Francis Daley, also teased some plot points that might be revealed in Seasons 8 and 9, including the real name of Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin). “We’ll make a story about it,” Hanson said. “[Viewers] really want to know what Angela’s name is, and they want to know what’s on page 187.” When asked whether viewers could expect a wedding for Deschanel and Boreanaz’ characters — who become parents this season — before the series ends, Nathan quipped: “If they ever get married, we’ll see a wedding.” He also said of the birth of their baby in the series: “It’s still Bones  — we don’t want to give the impression we’re doing Parenthood. There will still be someone who is dead and revolting, and they will try to figure out who did it.  They will have to figure out how to deal with this baby while they deal with these murders.”

Along with the 13 episodes that complete this season’s story arc, the producers confirmed they have produced 4 extra episodes that are not part of the arc but “we don’t know where they are going to be” on the season schedule. Near the end of the session, someone from the audience asked how the producers felt about having the series moved to Monday nights, out of its plum Thursday slot following American Idol. “Good. I know we’re supposed to be upset,” Hanson said. “Monday nights are very, very good for us. We’ve always wanted to be with House. It’s a good match for us. We’re fine with it.”

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