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TV shows that last longer than ten years generally don't see their most newsworthy years coming after those first ten years have passed, but Bones has been at the center of a flurry of headlines since Season 10 came to an end a little over a year ago. Still, it managed to defy all bubble-show odds and Fox renewed it for a shortened twelfth and final season. You'd think by now that creator Hart Hanson would know exactly how he wants this show to cap things off, but that's not exactly the case. Here's how he put it.
I have had an ending in mind, because we were such a precarious show, we weren't supposed to make it to our first Christmas. I had this idea how to end the show. As it went on, that idea changed to, 'Oh we'll end it on their marriage --- that will be the end of the series, them getting married.' We've passed that, so now it's back to, 'I have an idea, but I will go in and see if that idea meshes with the guys who have been running the show for the past two years, not to mention David and Emily.' We'll see.
The majority of TV series that make it to air have their endings (or at least the ending dates) chosen for them by the networks, so you know Hart Hanson has got it pretty good if his reasoning to EW for keeping Bones' ending in flux is because the show has continued to succeed longer than he thought it would. And power to Fox for giving the fans what they want, even if those fans are tuning in in far fewer numbers than they used to.
I'm guessing Hanson has been busier than usual mulling over thoughts on how to end things for Brennan and Booth now that the 12-episode Season 12 is a sure thing. (Not even the cast saw that renewal coming.) It sounds like he's been keeping those thoughts to himself, though, since he apparently has yet to discuss things with either the showrunners or the actors. It's not like he's on a rapidly decreasing countdown, though, as we don't even know how Season 11 is going to end for these guys, although we're blindly assuming it involves "a ___ body with ___ sticking out of it." Just no more skeleton marionettes, I beg of thee.
Season 11 of Bones bared the brunt of a pregnancy, a handful of lbig awsuits (from cast members, no less) and an extended delay, among other things. The drama had a chance of losing current showrunner Jonathan Collier, who produced a pilot for Fox earlier this year alongside former Bones showrunner Stephen Nathan, but the network ultimately passed on it.
Bones has three episodes left in Season 11, which will conclude on July 21. It airs Thursday nights on Fox.