Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz are likely to come back for at least one more season of Bonesexecutive 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.

Deschanel and Boreanaz aren’t the only stars the producer discussed Tuesday. “I hope Billy Gibbons will be back, because that’s total fun for us when he plays Angela’s dad,” said Hanson of the ZZ Top guitarist, who guest stars as himself on Bones as the father of the Angela Montenagro character. “You know it’s only Season 8, we’re just beginning,” joked Hanson about what could come next.

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