Fox is ready to bury Bones.
The procedural dramedy has been renewed for a 12th and final season. The end run will be shorter than usual—only 12 episodes long.
The series starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, who both made deals to return, will come to a close after years of narrow renewals and being moved around Fox’s schedule. The show was famously useful as a utility player at the network for successfully filling unexpected holes in the schedule.
“In times like these, marked by instability and doubt, it’s comforting to know the world can count on at least one dependable beacon of stability,” said creator Hart Hanson. “Apparently, that beacon is Bones. It just shows what you can do with an amalgam of genius cast, amazing crew, cunning writers, stalwart studio, sweat, a tough economy, a mercurial network, determination, luck, magic, miracles, and the most loyal audience in the world.”
This final season will provide a sense of closure for the long-running series. “This is for the fans!” Boreanaz says. “Thank you to everyone at Fox … also to the crew and cast for their countless support along the way! And I couldn’t have done it without you, Emily!” Adds Deschanel: “I am thrilled the show will have the ending it deserves for all of our amazing, loyal fans!.”
The current season’s showrunners, Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson, will also be back. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have another season, so we can give the show, characters and fans the end they so richly deserve,” said Collier and Peterson. “Also knowing there is a Season 12, we can now write the most rewarding Season 11 finale possible—one we hope will leave our fans excited for what’s to come in this final season of Bones.”
Fox announcing the show’s end doesn’t come as much of a surprise. At the Television Critics Association’s recent press tour, Fox co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden said, “We want to send it out with style and class and the way it wants to be wrapped up. … Those viewers deserve a very satisfying ending. We’re trying to be very sensitive about that.”
The news comes on the heels of stars Deschanel and Boreanaz and executive producers Barry Josephson and Kathleen Reichs claiming Fox allegedly shortchanged them out of profits from the show. However, Walden said at TCA that the legal matter had “no impact on our decision-making.”
When Bones says farewell, it will have completed 246 original episodes, making it one of the longest-running Fox series ever.
Bones is currently on hiatus and set to return April 14.