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.
On the subject of The Finder, which premieres next Thursday following an original Bones, the show’s title became an issue of debate during the afternoon session. Based on The Locator books by Richard Greener, The Finder is an hourlong procedural that centers on an Iraq War vet (Geoff Stults) who has a remarkable ability to find hard-to-trace people. At the panel, the producers in attendance, along with Hanson, listed such rejected possibilities as Lost & Found; Location, Location, Location and The Locator. “It sounded too much like a real estate show,” Hanson said. Added executive producer Barry Josephson, “I remember spending 45 minutes of a network phone call debating Finder vs. The Finder. While it’s a little bit of a flat title, it does correctly describe the show.” Hanson admitted, “Boy, we went through a hundred (titles). … What I wanted, and Kevin (Reilly) said no to, was Cougar Town.”