It was a full house on all the networks as we’re now in the first full week of the May sweep. On Fox, there also were finales for Bones (2.1/6) and The Following. The Season 8 finale of the crime comedy-drama Bones was up both from last year and last week, besting its previous season-ender from May 14, 2012 by 11%. Bones was also up 5% in adults 18-49 from its April 22 show. In terms of viewers, the 7.1 million who watched last night was almost even with the 7.2 million of last year’s closer and matched the number who tuned in last week. After a season of ups and downs, freshman The Following (2.6/7) ended high. The Kevin Bacon-starrer was up 8% from last week’s show to hit its best 18-49 rating since March 11. In terms of network rivalry, last night saw The Following beat NBC’s Revolution in the key demo for a second week in a row. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Ballantine Bantam Dell has acquired North American rights for three new novels from Kathy Reichs, who aside from being a bestselling suspense novelist is also a forensic anthropologist whose novels inspired the Fox TV series Bones. The deal was negotiated by Gina Centrello, president and publisher of the Random House Publishing Group, with WME’s Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. The novels will be published under the Bantam label, according to Libby McGuire, EVP, Publisher of Ballantine Bantam Dell. The first comes out in 2014, and Jennifer Hershey will edit them. Reichs’ last novel, Bones Are Forever, was published by Scribner.
Reichs will continue the forensic exploits of Temperance Brennan, who has been the centerpiece of 15 bestsellers. As for her day job, Dr. Reichs has been Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and still serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council and is professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz are likely to come back for at least one more season of Bones, executive producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan said today. “They are currently negotiating through Season 9,” Hanson said on a conference call. He added: “We’re pretty confident they’ll come to an agreement.” The contracts of the two leads are up after Season 8. Bones was renewed for its eighth season in March and season debuts on Fox on September 17.
In the spring, Boreanaz seemed to indicate he was leaving or negotiating a new deal in public when he tweeted about “new chapters and new doors” in his career. Boreanaz also said “I’m a free agent after this season. So the Bones farewell tour is in full-swing.” This morning, Hanson and Nathan played down any significance to the actor’s social-media outbursts. “David is a mischievous guy, he loves lobbying hand grenades out. It’s all part of the game to him; I don’t think there is any serious bile to it,” series creator Hanson said. “David loves the show; I think he wants to come back as much as we want him to come back,” Nathan said.
Stephen Nathan, Bones‘ executive producer and creator/exec producer Hart Hanson’s right-hand man, has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the long-running Fox dramedy. The two-year pact (with an option for a third) keeps Nathan on Bones as the second-in-command to showrunner Hanson. Additionally, Nathan will have the ability to develop new projects for the studio.
Nathan has been on Bones since Day 1 — he was recruited by Hanson to join the show after its pilot episode in 2005. “Stephen and Hart have had such an incredible creative partnership, and Stephen is somebody Hart has relied on in a huge way,” 20th TV chairman Dana Walden said. “Last season, Stephen demonstrated why he is so valuable as he enabled Hart to focus on (Bones spinoff) The Finder as he took on greater responsibilities on Bones and did an amazing job.”
Fox is keeping with the trend this year of rolling out a major portion of its fall lineup outside the official premiere week. The network, which debuted most of its series during premiere week last year, will unspool three nights — Wednesday, Thursday and Monday — in the two weeks leading to premiere week, which this year starts September 24. That includes the season premieres of The X Factor, Glee and Bones and the series debut of The Mob Doctor. The second-season premiere of The X Factor falls on the same week as the third-cycle debut of NBC rival The Voice. Kiefer Sutherland’s drama Touch will be held until end of October, with Kitchen Nightmares warming up its new Friday 8 PM slot until then. Of the nights launching during premiere week, Fox is kicking off its new all-comedy Tuesday with two New Girl originals serving as lead-ins for the network’s two new comedy series, Ben & Kate and The Mindy Project.
NBC last week announced fall premiere dates staggered over two months — from mid-August until mid-October, with only one series, veteran Law & Order: SVU, opening during premiere week. And the CW said at its upfront that it will roll out its lineup in October. Here are Fox’s fall premiere dates:
Wednesday, September 12
8-10 PM THE X FACTOR (Season Premiere, Part One)
Thursday, September 13
8-9 PM THE X FACTOR (Season Premiere, Part Two)
9-10 PM GLEE (Season Premiere)
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.”
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Bones creator Hart Hanson sounded pretty confident that Fox would greenlight an eighth and likely final season of the quirky drama for next fall. “Oh hell yes!” he replied to a question of whether he was looking for the show to come back “if those negotiations work out.” He made the comments today during the TCA panel for his upcoming Bones spinoff The Finder, in which he participated via Skype due to a recent motorcycle accident. He added that he was “very confident” an agreement would be reached and that he and the producers had plenty of ideas left in the tank. “Putting Booth and Brennan (David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel) together and having a child as far as we’re concerned reinvigorated the series,” Hanson said. “There are still very good stories to be told in the Bones universe, stories that our characters generate. So that’s a long way of saying ‘Yes, I’d like it to come back.’ And I’m not even on painkillers right now.” Hanson wasn’t at the panel in person and was shown to be pants-free during the session. Earlier in the day, Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly was less committal. “We need to do a new deal with Bones for next season if we’re going to keep it going,” he said. “I’d like to keep it going.” He also said that this season of Bones, cut to 17 episodes because of star Deschanel’s pregnancy, may go back to 22 episodes if the producers can deliver 5 extra segments.
The launch strategy for new drama The Finder was probably the most puzzling element in Fox’s midseason announcement last week (that and seeing flash-mob series Mobbed on the schedule, after American Idol no less). Fox had originally scheduled the …