BONES: Hart Hanson on Season 9 Being a Year of Payoff, the (Potential) Move to Friday, and More
BONES is gearing up to have one of its biggest seasons ever as the show gets ready to marry off Booth and Brennan…and potentially make the move to Friday night. To gear up for that, I caught up with BONES creator Hart Hanson to talk about the reasoning for being upfront about the upcoming wedding, paying off a lot of unresolved questions, moving to Fridays, and more…
Season 9! What can you tease about what BONES has planned for us?
Hart Hanson: This is going to be a busy season. We have a list of things we’ve set up for an audience to want over the last eight seasons, and we are picking the ones that we’re going to pay off. And it’s almost all of them. They’re getting married. No tricks, they’re getting married.
When are they getting married?
HH: I’m not telling you. All we have is — if I say we’re getting married, all we have is the usual BONES thing of doing it at a time you don’t expect it, in a way you don’t expect it. That’s all we have.
It’s an interesting shift, though, because when the show made Brennan pregnant at the end of season 6, during that hiatus, you wouldn’t even acknowledge they were a couple, let alone if they had said “I love you,” etc. What was behind the decision to reveal that they are getting married this season when you guys very easily could have had the audience in the dark for a bit longer?
HH: I think…this is not my strength, deciding when to tell an audience what they’re getting. You know, you’ve heard this for years, but [for me,] in a perfect world, people would tune in each week and not have a clue what was coming. But that’s not the world we live in. And I think, I came to believe in talking to everybody, that it would be good for this incredibly loyal audience we have to know that yes, it’s going to happen this year. Watch the show, we’re not going to put it off another year.
Is there any concern that it negates any of the potential tension from the bad note Booth and Brennan were left on by that cliffhanger?
HH: A very bad note. Which I quite like…[that] it ended on a bad note. [Revealing the info] was like saying, you can watch this show and you can find joy after you do a sad ending. I don’t mind telling you the first episode starts out pretty damn sad. But by the end, you know, there’s a little glimmer of joy. And then we move pretty quick.
We have to deal with Pelant…we’re going to front-load this season with a bunch of payoffs. I think it’s fair to say we’re coming out of the gate in season 9 fast to satisfy a bunch of things the audience [wants] — we’re thinking a lot of our audience now. We’ve spent many years drawing things out as long as we can. It’s time to pay off [that]; it’s season 9. It’s time to give those people that have stuck with us — my God! — some satisfaction.
And we have a list of things [to reveal]. You probably know them better than anyone else. What did Brennan write in the Gravedigger episode ["Aliens in a Spaceship"]? Time to pay it off! 447. Page 187. We’ve got a list of things. Which ones we pay off, I won’t tell you. We have a whole bunch.
Is any of this a response to the potential move to Friday?
HH: That’s a good question. I think so. It’s not like, “We’re moving to Fridays, so we have to do this.” I think it’s a, “We want our audience to come with us to Fridays.” That’s our chance to shine. If we move to Friday.
Do you think you’re actually moving to Fridays this time?
HH: I have no idea, because I have not seen — of course I know what’s going on in the fall, but I haven’t seen the pilots. I’m woefully ignorant.
The new fall dramas that Fox has are quite enjoyable.
HH: Well, if America agrees with you, we’ll go to Fridays. I’ve seen cuts of sizzle reels for SLEEPY HOLLOW and ALMOST HUMAN. ALMOST HUMAN looks like a really good TV series to me.
If you liked FRINGE, you’ll likely enjoy ALMOST HUMAN.
HH: I liked FRINGE; I thought it was awesome. So maybe we’ll go to Friday in our ninth season.
To be fair, Fox has been clear this isn’t intended as a way to move the show to die — they’re hoping this will be a way to bring eyes to Friday nights.
HH: I don’t like it, but if I was the head of the network, I might see if the BONES audience follows to Fridays, because what a way to get [viewers] on Fridays. So I understand it, and I respect [Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly,] he’s smart, I just wish someone else was doing it, not us.
Completely fair. Before I let you go, what can you tease about what Angela, Hodgins, Cam, and Sweets will be up to in season 9?
HH: You will find in the season opener that Angela is furious with Booth for what he’s done to Brennan, and that has repercussions throughout the entire season. Even if things get happy, Angela and Booth are not seeing eye-to-eye. There’s problems there. Classic best friend and fiance/husband/lover/boyfriend [issues] — and it drags Hodgins into it. It’s trouble. It generates good drama. Cam has her ID stolen, and it hits her — for various reasons that you’ll see — harder than it would hit the average person that someone took her identification.
And Sweets, he has [stuff] to go through. Sweets has a big question, which is not dissimilar to the question Angela has asked in the past, which is, am I helping people? I’m helping society by catching murderers, but [Sweets] went into psychiatry to help individuals. So that plays into it.