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Things aren't looking too good for Fox's long-running drama Bones. The show is currently airing the second half of Season 11 with the season finale just a week away, and we already know it will finally end with a shortened Season 12 sometime in 2017. There doesn't seem to be much question that it's high time the series finally bow out, with dwindling quality, showrunner switcheroos, and a lawsuit. And add to that the show's ratings, which came in at a series low for the latest episode.
Bones' "The Jewel in the Crown" delivered 4.2 million total viewers and a 0.8 demo rating. That's not very good at all. The ratings for Bones have been going down for some time, with the 11-year long show unable to attract a bigger audience. That's the curse for a show that's been on as long as Bones, which has to have exhausted every bone-related crime and then some by this point. Plus, there are about 11 years worth of continuity that rebuffs new viewers from checking out the show. The series simply isn't as fresh as it used to be, and no amount of weird crossovers with Sleepy Hollow can change that.
Fox isn't really helping matters, though. The network has moved Bones around on the schedule almost haphazardly. There was a huge hiatus between the first and second half of Season 11. The show returned in April after over three months, and is finishing out its season in July. That's a rarity for a network drama and the show more than likely lost some viewership with the confusing change. The release schedule for Season 12 hasn't been revealed yet but hopefully, Fox can find a better spot for it to end than July.
This is only the latest in a long list of problems the show has been facing. While things are still interesting enough, it's hard for even hardcore fans to argue the quality of the show has dropped in its later seasons. There's about as much meat as its title suggests at this point. Behind-the-scenes drama has also been an issue, with longtime characters leaving the show and lawsuit between Fox, the producers of Bones, and the two lead actors David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel. Finally, before it was renewed for Season 12, it looked like Bones' co-showrunner wasn't going to stick around, since Jonathan Collier is working on a new pilot for Fox called Zoobiquity, and it wouldn't be the first time this show traded showrunners.
At the end of the day, it's a pretty good thing Bones is ending. It's great for a show to get two seasons, let alone 12, and it's not an accomplishment to scoff at. That being said, I dare you to list a show that has 12 seasons and is still as good as it was in its heyday.
Bones will air its Season 11 finale on Thursday, July 21.