TNT digs ‘Bones’

Network nabs rights to Fox series

TNT has bought the cable-exclusive rights to “Bones,” the Fox series about a female forensic anthropologist that’s now in its third year.

Neither TNT nor distributor Twentieth TV would talk about license fees, but the range is between $400,000 and $450,000 an episode.

TNT will gain access to the multiple weekly runs of “Bones” in fall 2009. But beginning Tuesday at 10 p.m., TNT will also run “Bones” as a weekly series, part of a clause that calls for a repurposing of the episodes, starting with the first hour that kicked off on Fox in September 2005.

Ken Schwab, senior VP of programming for TNT and TBS, said “Bones” fits TNT’s strategy of scheduling original scripted police dramas such as “The Closer” and “Saving Grace” and reruns of procedurals including “Cold Case,” “Without a Trace” and “Law & Order.” Schwab’s counterpart at Twentieth TV is prexy-chief operating officer Bob Cook.

“Bones” stars Emily Deschanel as the forensic expert and David Boreanaz as an FBI agent. The self-contained episodes frequently play on the sexual tension between the two.

Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson and Stephen Nathan are the executive producers of “Bones.” Negotiating the deal were Steve McDonald, exec VP-general manager of basic cable for Twentieth TV, and Jonathan Katz, senior VP-general manager of program planning and acquisitions for Turner’s entertainment networks, including TNT.