Welcome to Remote Controlled, Variety’s podcast series featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
This week’s episode features Variety executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum and editor-at-large Michael Schneider in conversation with “Bones” creator and executive producer Hart Hanson about the final season of the fan-favorite Fox procedural, which ends its run this year after 12 seasons.
After creating the series, Hanson left the show in the hands of other showrunners, now Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson, and compares the thought of returning to the set like returning to an old girlfriend. “It’s very bittersweet,” he says. “It’s better to be a distant step parent.”
That said, Hanson says he’s not at all upset about the network’s decision to cancel the show. “We were amazed when we got to finish a first season and then we were picked up for a second season,” he says. “We have never been a big giant hit. We have been a steady, steady performer. So the fact that we are now Fox’s longest-running, hourlong scripted show, I find it hard to complain that they have decided to cancel the show. We outlasted ‘The X-Files’ and ‘90210.’ I think it makes a bit easier not being there day in and day out, but I haven’t processed it.”
What helped, he says, was knowing that the end was coming. “That’s a pretty big gift,” he says. “There’s a part of me that hopes that the muckety-mucks at Fox in a year will go, ‘I wish we had ‘Bones’ to plug that hole.’ I’m sure that will happen but I’m not very bitter about it.”
In this era of reunions and revivals, he says he would consider a “Bones” reunion movie. “That would be wonderful,” he says. “One of the great things about ‘Bones’ and it stems from our two leads is they decided really early in the process that they were gong to like each other and get along and work together really well,” he says. “We’ve all heard the story of leads on shows drifting apart. Our show was never like that.”
Hanson recalls that stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz went to an acting coach together early on in the show’s run to further build their chemistry. “They still like each other and watch out for each other,” he says. “It’s unheard of.”
A “Bones” spinoff idea, though, is a harder sell, given his experience with “The Finder,” the 2012 spinoff that was cancelled in its first season. “The only thing I’m bitter about in my show business career is that ‘The Finder’ didn’t get more of a chance,” he says.
As for the “Bones” finale, Hanson reveals he always had a plan for what the show’s ending would be, but his idea wouldn’t work now. “The show went in a direction after I left that I wouldn’t have gone in,” he says. “It’s a perfectly good direction. I think they have a fantastic idea for the season ender.”
But he does offer a few hints about what’s in store. “David has had an idea since the second or third episode that is coming to fruition in the season-ender,” he reveals. “If an actor wants something so badly for so many years, you try and give it to them. And Emily was all for it.”
You can listen to this week’s episode here:
New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday.