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Q&A Interview with BONES EP Stephen Nathan About Rest of Season 9 & Series Moving to Fridays

Mike Vicic - November 11, 2013




Earlier today, TV Tango participated in a conference call with BONES Executive Producer Stephen Nathan, who dished about the show's next serial killer called the Ghost Killer, discussed details about multiple upcoming episodes, and revealed which team members, squinterns and guest stars will be highlighted this season



Tonight, Monday, November 11, at 8pm ET/PT FOX airs an all-new episode of BONES before moving the series to Fridays at 8pm later this week, when FOX airs another all-new episode of BONES on Friday, November 15, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT.



Hodgins works on a case

in "The Fury in the Jury"

Question: Can you discuss what we're going to learn about Hodgins' past that we don't know?

Stephen Nathan: Well, that's going to be a little bit further down the line. That might not air until February. Very briefly, Hodgins finds out some things about his family -- and he had a very close family. They were very, very wealthy, but he did have a close family. He's going to find out some secrets about that family that are going to be quite surprising to him. It's not going to be grand political secrets or anything like that; it's going to be very, very personal.

In another upcoming episode, Hodgins is somebody who is sent out into the field -- something he always loves the chance to do -- because there is a murder that revolves around a family that was close to his family when he was growing up; so he's going into a world of wealth that he no longer enjoys.

Brennan and Pelant in

"The Sense in the Sacrifice"

Question: Pelant had been telling Brennan about a new killer who is much worse. Will he be introduced soon?

Stephen Nathan: That will be reintroduced in the episode in which Hodgins goes back to an old family friend. Brennan is the sort of person who is not going to forget words of warning given to her by Pelant. That has been simmering for the past six episodes, and we will see that surface in a way that concerns Booth and the other people at the lab. It is something they're all going to have to contend with, seeing how immersed and overwhelmed Brennan is by the idea of this new serial killer.

 Danny Beck (Freddie Prinze Jr.)

in "The Secrets in the Proposal"

Question: Are there any plans to bring Aldo or Danny back?

Stephen Nathan: They will definitely reappear.

Danny. We're working on that episode now. This will be next year, probably [airing] in February. It's an episode that sort of teams Booth and Danny in a common cause, but also causes Booth to question Danny in a way that hopefully will be very surprising. And that will be on whatever night FOX puts us on in January and February. [laughs]

Booth's grandfather (Ralph Waite) & mother (Joanna Cassidy)

in "The Woman in White"

Question: Will we see Booth or Brennan's family members again this season?

Stephen Nathan: Yes, we'll revisit them as well. When is still a question. I think what we're trying to do a little bit more this season is to highlight the personal lives and conflicts of a lot of our supporting cast. This is a family that has become so tight and so close that we get to see them sort of through Booth and Brennan's eyes. We're examining, a little bit more this season, Cam's life, Hodgin's life, and even the interns. We're doing quite an emotional story with Wendell coming up. We're going to see the sort of family of this show. Their lives hopefully become richer and a little bit deeper than they have been in the past.

Cam and Angela in

"The Mystery in the Meat"

Question: What can you tease about Cam's storylines in the upcoming episodes and the rest of the season?

Stephen Nathan: For the next few episodes where we're highlighting Cam, we're going to be dealing with the struggles she's having with her identity crisis [laughs]. Not her identity crisis, her identity theft, which also becomes an identity crisis. We're going to be dealing with that, because that's really interesting. Doing the research on that, that's really fascinating, because most of the time the police do nothing. They can't do anything; they don't have the resources. People are kind of left to fend for themselves, and try to dig them out of a real, horrible place. Fortunately, she has Angela. We will be dealing with that, and eventually dealing with the person who has stolen her identity.

Booth investigates a food scientist's lab in "The Mystery in the Meat"

Question: What can you tell us about the episode that David Boreanaz is going to direct?

Stephen Nathan: We're prepping that now. It's a terrific episode; he's just going to kill with it. He's simply one of our favorite directors. This one is sort of a take on the SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN documentary that was out. It's the murder of an anonymous singer, who we learn a lot more about as we uncover this case. This is also the episode in which we're going to see Wendell contend with something none of us want to contend with. Is that vague enough?

Brennan serves as a juror

in "The Fury in the Jury"

Question: Can you talk about the idea to send Brennan for jury duty and what we'll see?

Stephen Nathan: It's something we kind of had in the file for years, and just finally were able to break it. It seemed to us, somebody who is so incredibly logical and someone who would have the ability to uncover many more facts in a case, be on a jury, where their hands are tied, in terms of being an investigator, and they have to deal only with the information they're given. Brennan, being supremely rational and logical, follows the judge's instructions to the letter of the law, so what she feels is utterly unimportant she is only dealing with the evidence. That gets us into a lot of trouble. It's pretty funny having her on a jury, because she wants to be the foreperson, but she's not the foreperson. Somebody asks a question in court, she answers. It really is Brennan going on a jury. It really was a chance for us to integrate two murders in one story and have Brennan involved in both, even the one she's not investigating, because she's on the jury. That's really complicated sounding -- and I just want you to know it really is complicated -- but we hopefully do it in a way that won't give anybody a headache.

Question: Is the new serial killer going to be a big bad like Pelant?

Stephen Nathan: I think we've, in a strange way, gone in the opposite direction. We always feel that it's best not to try to repeat ourselves. Pelant was such a big bad -- he was such a huge presence in everybody's lives; such an enormous and personal threat -- that it's very difficult to do that again. Everybody's going to compare one to the other. We have another serial killer who is surfacing, one who has existed for many, many years and is anonymous, who we're calling the Ghost Killer.

Stephen Nathan (cont): It's a very ephemeral presence and sort of an evil that lurks in the shadows -- someone whose identity we're not even sure of. When we find out the truth that many of these murders that have gone into limbo in cold cases are linked, we then have to find out who it really is. We're pointed in the direction in the episode actually that we're shooting now, which will be the first one back in January, but all that's happening is we're being pointed in a direction.


We also haven't, let's say, felt the end of Pelant.

Booth interviews a pro soccer player in "The Fury in the Jury"

Question: How will Booth's anger issues and the pain he wakes up with every morning affect him and his marriage this season?

Stephen Nathan: I don't think the anger issues are going to affect their marriage. We don't want to marry them and then have them immediately get into marriage counseling. We've waited nine years for them to get married, and I want them to be happy for a while. They have enough to contend with with people shooting at them, trying to kill them and hanging out over dead bodies. We're not really going to focus on his aches and pains, his physical ailments, on a regular basis. They will probably rear their head at some point later in the season. It's more one of those things that is a fact of his life, rather than something so unique it's going to be highlighted.

Booth and Brennan

in "The Dude in the Dam"

Question: What kind of challenges will Brennan and Booth have?

Stephen Nathan: There are a lot of challenges that they're going to have to face now. At one point we want to examine the fact that both of them working together are in an extremely dangerous situation and what does that mean for their family? What does that mean for Parker and Christine? How does their work affect their family life now? These are some of the things that we're going to be exploring, because they're real. But, primarily, we're just going to be putting them in hopefully ever more challenging situations and allowing them to rely on the squints and their friends even more than they have in the past.

The team investigates remains found in a beaver dam in "The Dude in the Dam"

Question: Can you comment on the move to Fridays? How does it feel, as an executive producer, to have your show move from timeslot to timeslot?

Stephen Nathan: For a long time, it was always upsetting when we got moved around. We're team players. If they [FOX] feel they need us someplace, we'll go there. It's always been proven, wherever we go, the audience follows. I say that with an unbelievable amount of appreciation and love for our audience. They are so devoted that they do follow us everywhere.

Stephen Nathan (cont): That said, they [FOX] have announced us moving to Fridays for years, and we never have. Now we are. This is a fact. Thankfully, this has happened -- now this is just me talking -- at a time when the days of the week don't matter on television anymore. So many people timeshift the show. So many people watch it later. Our DVR numbers go up 35-45% sometimes for Live+3 Day and Live+7 Day viewing, because we're opposite THE VOICE, so people are going to watch that live because people are going to be talking about it the next day. We're the type of show that you can say, "You know, I'm going to watch BONES tomorrow night." We still have a tremendous, large audience that watches us when we're on, but I'm not that concerned with Friday. I think all these loyal fans are going to come over to Friday, and if they don't watch it Friday because they're going out, they're going to watch us on Saturday or Sunday or the next Monday. I really believe that we have to view our audience in a different way. The days of sitting in a chair and leaving one network on and watching shows live, those days are fast disappearing. There's Hulu and iTunes and everything, so I think that Friday is not ideal, because Thursdays was great for us -- and great for FOX because of us -- and so was Monday. On Fridays, there's fewer viewers, but hopefully we'll stop the flow of viewers leaving on Friday and show them that BONES still has a little might left, even though we might be in a walker.

Brennan investigates remains from a meat grinder in "The Mystery in the Meat"

Question: Will SLEEPY HOLLOW give BONES a shout out like you gave them when they premiered?

Stephen Nathan: We don't know, but if they do it with the headless guy, we're not going to hear it, because he doesn't have a mouth.

Intern Dr. Oliver Wells (Brian Klugman) in "The Fact in the Fiction"

Question: Which interns will be highlighted this season? Will BONES be adding any new interns?

Stephen Nathan: We might be adding an intern. With great love, these interns are such a gift to us, but they're all fabulous actors, so they have other work and they sometimes disappear, in which case we do add other people. Oliver Wells, who was just starting to blossom on the show and will be appearing in the next few episodes, is directing a movie, so he'll be gone for a while and hopefully will be back. We're going to be dealing with Wendell, dealing with Arastoo and Cam. Clark now, quite heavily, is going to figure in the initial telling of the Ghost Killer story. Fisher's going to be coming back and might be hooking up with someone we know. We're just trying to explore these characters. We've loved writing all of them, and we kind of can't get enough of them.

Brennan appears with a rival author (Nora Dunn) in "The Dude in the Dam"

Question: Can you tell us about guest star Nora Dunn?

Stephen Nathan: Nora Dunn is going to be on the show tonight. There's an exclusive airing of BONES tonight just for everyone who has a television. Nora's on tonight. It was great to have her on the show; she's hilarious. Nora is playing another mystery writer who has a longstanding feud with Brennan. She has a book coming out and Brennan also has a book coming out, so it's a feud between the two of them, which morphs into something much more complex and entertaining.

I just have to say, the one good thing about our move is that we have a doubleheader -- we have two episodes. They're both just terrific.

Stephen Nathan (cont): As many people know, I enjoy doing these openings and trying to revolt the audience as much as possible. Well, we have something so shocking tonight that has absolutely nothing to do with a dead body. It's absolutely revoltingly delightful. Tonight's episode is just terrific, everybody's just wonderful.

And then to have another episode that we're just so proud of on Friday night, with Brennan being in the jury. Hopefully, it will be as much of a treat for the audience as it is for us. We're really excited about the move being kicked off in such a great way.

Thanks for your interest and the support you've given the show for so long. We wouldn't be here without you or without the amazing audience that we have.