“We had a very good run,” she added diplomatically during the show’s final TCA panel. (Watch clips from Bones‘ first 11 seasons above.)
Creator Hart Hanson said he fought with Fox for the entire life of the series. “We were on the bubble all the time,” he said. “We were angry all the time, calling the network asking for more promos. I was furious with the [move to] Friday announcement; I felt it was just telling” TV critics the show was toast. “I had huge fights with [longtime scheduling chief] Preston Beckman, who is not someone you want to fight with. He is tough!” Hanson remembered with a shudder. (Beckman was part of the old Fox regime, which moved Bones around the schedule, including to Fridays in Season 9.)
“Our fans were loud and passionate and very opinionated, and they would follow us,” he said, crediting viewers with keeping the show on the air so long despite the best effort of network execs. The show outlasted four network chiefs and 20 timeslots, Hanson boasted, acknowledging that at some point he struck a “go ahead and try to kill us” attitude.
“The cockroaches of Fox,” he said, lovingly.
Being a Fox series, talk turned to the inevitable return for a limited-run closed-ended series. Hours earlier, Fox had TCA panels on 24: Legacy and Prison Break.
“Everything is possible in life, but I tend to like to go forward. I don’t like reunions,” star David Boreanaz said. He said his one regret about the show is that he never got to play FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth in old age.
“I’d like some time before I consider that,” added Deschanel. “We put 12 years into this show and that’s not nothing; it would be very emotional to say goodbye and then, next week, ‘OK, we’re coming back!’ It has to be a period of time.” She suggested that when they do come back for a limited-series reboot, Boreanaz should play that entire run as old Booth.
The 10 cast members and producers got asked who were their favorite guest stars over the show’s long run; that was a major time suck and included such names as Stephen Fry, Betty White, Cyndi Lauper, David Allen Grier, Hal Holbrook, Heavy D, Linda Lavin and too many more to list them all. “I shamelessly used the show” to meet people he admired, Hanson said.
The final 12 episodes are “packed” with moments and the return of many of these guests, Boreanaz marveled. It returned to Fox last week.