In case you hadn't heard, Bones will welcome a new character to the fold when the show returns Monday.
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In an ordinary season, creator Hart Hanson says he would have fought to keep Baby Bones' birthday a surprise, but this season has been anything but ordinary. The show premiered late in the fall before going on an extended hiatus while star Emily Deschanel gave birth in real life. Now the show is back — but it's moving to a new night and time, Mondays at 8/7c. Thus, the long-awaited birth became more of an event.
"We've been gone for so long, and we're moving to a new night, so we thought, 'Let's let the marketing folks at Fox use it," Hanson says. "But we think there will still be a few surprises."
Bones' seventh season has used the conflicting views on child-rearing of Dr. Temperance Brennan (Deschanel) and FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to fill the void of the will-they-won't-they tension that used to drive the show. Hanson insists that adding the actual baby to that mix will only escalate the drama.
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"If you think of their lives as a Venn diagram, there's another area now where they cross," Hanson says. "It used to be just professional, and then that emotional thing that they have. Now there's another area where they have to contend with each other over something important. It's like a black hole. It's made more energy in a smaller area and it's been really working for us."
But fellow executive producer Stephen Nathan insists the show won't become a watered-down domestic tale. "There's always been that balancing act in the show of their personal life and the cases, but we're a murder show," he says. "When we do go home, they have a new arrival, which changes their lives. So, the baby will be a part of the show, because it's a part of their lives. But somebody is still going to be murdered in a heinous and cruel way."
Adds Hanson: "The balance won't change, but the context will."
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The biggest change will no doubt come for Brennan, who has always been a hard nut to crack, emotionally speaking. The new baby will definitely soften her up a bit, to her own chagrin. "We've always seen Brennan as a character who ... did not want to engage with life or had to be protected by a veneer of rationality and logic and science," Hanson says. "Now she has a child. ... Her happiness is contingent upon another person's happiness. ... So, she is now a big open bruise because of another human being and she will find that very disorienting."
Once the baby has arrived, should fans start planning to RSVP for a Booth-Brennan wedding? In the season premiere, Booth said he was going to wait for Brennan to ask him. "She's not going to ask right away," Deschanel says. "She has no problem asking him, but I think it's more of saving face. It's like, 'OK, I'm going to wait because if I ask right away, that might seem weak.'"
Adds Nathan: "She is fiercely independent. Still is. But they are ... a phenomenal couple. You just want to see how they're dealing with it. You pull for them to be a couple just as much you used to."
But the happy couple will first have to deal with the return of spooky killer Christopher Pellant (Andrew Leeds), who Nathan says will "scare the crap" out of the audience in this season's finale cliff-hanger.
"He will change the course of the series for a little bit," Nathan says. "It's going to put [Booth and Brennan] in a completely different situation than they've been in before professionally. And that will affect them personally to a large, large extent."
Bones airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.
(Additional reporting by Kate Stanhope)