Fox has set a premiere date for the 12th and final season of “Bones”: Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 9 p.m. FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz), forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, and their respective crime-fighting teams will begin the 12-episode journey to the end of a TV career that has seen multiple marriages, births, and deaths, and the capture of an astonishingly large number of murderers.

Current showrunners Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson had some words for fans to mark the premiere announcement: “We’ve loved working on ‘Bones’ and are so excited to bring our fans this final season,” the two said. “After 12 years on the air, it’s an honor to be able to write the exciting and meaningful ending, which the show deserves.”

“Bones” creator Hart Hanson also chimed in: “From the very first season, ‘Bones’ was called ‘The Little Engine That Could.’ So we could not be prouder of ending up as Fox’s longest-running scripted drama,” Hanson said. “And we got there because of an insanely loyal, loud, lovely, lively audience.”

“Bones” was indeed a valuable utility player for the network, managing to bring along most of its audience wherever Fox decided it needed a reliable performer. For its farewell tour, the show will bring back a number of old friends, including much more of Eric Millegan’s “squintern” Zack Addy, who returned at the end of last season as a possible villain.