TVGuide.com: The premiere did excellent in the ratings. That's a good sign, right?
Emily Deschanel: Definitely. Definitely. It's always nice to work and do your thing on set, to try to do your best job and put together the best episode you can. But then it feels even better when people actually watch it. In one sense, you're like, "I don't care who watches it"; in another sense, you've worked so hard, you want people to see it.
TVGuide.com: Did you know when you signed on that it was going to be a big hit?
Deschanel: I'm always very cautious. I'd done two pilots before I did this [show], and on both of them I thought the writing was fantastic. But you go and you do it, and sometimes it doesn't turn out the way that you thought it would. After I saw the final pilot of Bones, I felt like this is something that could have a real life on television. It was exciting to see. [I] have no control over things like that, so I can't concern myself so much with it, but at the same time, I can't help thinking about it. I can't help being concerned and anxious that people do watch it, so I can continue to do this job that I enjoy doing. You hope that the numbers are good so they don't cancel you, so that you can continue to explore these characters and work with these people.
TVGuide.com: Now they've got Bones leading off the night and helping out a new show, Justice.
Deschanel: I know, I know. Well, last year, we started out the night [at 8 pm/ET], as the lead-in for House. And I saw this year, Standoff gets [the Tuesdays-at-9 time slot] after House and I thought, "Hey, why didn't we get to be after House?" But there's all these plans for these shows, and programming and timing and scheduling and all that stuff that I don't really understand. It is nice to [lead into] a new show. Hopefully we give them enough of a good lead-in so they have an audience to hold onto.
TVGuide.com: Bones is the only procedural show I watch on a weekly basis. So why do you think this stands out among the CSIs and Law & Orders out there?
Deschanel: I love watching those shows. I'm a huge Law & Order fan, and I like CSI a lot. They solve these crimes, but at this point, everyone's seen that before. Our show, I wouldn't put it in the same category as those shows at all. It has the same throughline we have friends, we have crime-solving, yes but tonally it's so different. We also include stuff about character, and that's the foundation of our show and that's always what we go back to. Certain episodes are more forensics- and procedural-heavy, certain ones are more character-heavy. But no matter what, we always try to draw out the character stuff. We always try to add whatever we can and milk whatever we can from the script itself. That starts with the writing, though. Hart Hanson, who's our creator and executive producer, and the staff of writers and producer-writers that he's put together have really done a great job of keeping that balance. It's very challenging what these writers have to do, going from comedy to drama within a few a seconds sometimes. And it's challenging for us as actors. Throughout the last season, we were really trying to figure it out. We've got a stronger hold on that this season.
TVGuide.com: I know you have a lot of new people new faces behind the scenes that we don't get to see but I've watched the first couple episodes now, and they've managed to keep that same tone.
Deschanel: We have a new directing producer, Tony Wharmby, who kind of oversees everything, and he's just fantastic. He really understands the show, the whole dynamic between the characters, so it's such a joy to be around him. He really is such a key element in this new season. It's actually quite a benefit to be hiring new people now because you find the people that are right. We have a new cinematographer, aka the director of photography....
TVGuide.com: For us nontechnical people.
Deschanel: Yes. Gordon Lonsdale is our new director of photography, and he's doing a really great job. It's a darker, more mysterious look, and I think that really adds to the show.
TVGuide.com: When I talked to David [Boreanaz] the other day, he teased that there will be more ongoing stories this season, like the arc with Brennan's parents, and maybe something about a serial killer?
Deschanel: Yeah. We had someone last year who will come back, so he'll be a kind of throughline throughout the season. He'll come in and out.
TVGuide.com: So, it'll be someone we recognize?
Deschanel: Yes, if you've watched every episode, you will recognize him. So there's that. The mother of [Booth's] child, played by Jessica Capshaw, comes back into his life. We're introduced to her through him. Angela and Hodgins, their flirting, budding romance is kicked up a notch. There's my parents' disappearance, and my brother will be coming back. At the same time, if you've never watched an episode, you can still tune in and understand what is happening.
TVGuide.com: It sounds like everybody else is getting some sort of love interest, but not you...?
Deschanel: I know, it's just not fair.
TVGuide.com: It's not fair.
Deschanel: I guess, though, last year, I had my old professor, and then I had the guy who I met online, [a relationship] that wasn't totally... it was a little undeveloped, in my opinion. What's going on with that? I don't know.
TVGuide.com: Brennan must have a life outside of work, right?
Deschanel: I know, I know. But that'll come back. I don't know when Brennan's going to find another love interest, but I know it's coming because they told me it is. So I'm just waiting to see. Who are they going to put me with, a clown or something? I don't know.
TVGuide.com: Hopefully not the serial killer.
Deschanel: I hope not the serial killer.
TVGuide.com: Have you been having fun playing her, getting into the scientific lingo and everything?
Deschanel: [Laughs] Yeah. It's fun sometimes. I think they write tongue twisters. Even when I'm not saying scientific things, there are words that are just so hard to get your mouth around. We have a really light set that we try to keep amusing, so we try not to take things too seriously. I mean, we take things seriously, like our jobs; we just don't take ourselves seriously. We laugh at our ourselves and everything else all the time.
TVGuide.com: That's good, since you're obviously there a lot.
Deschanel: Yeah. It's unusual you find a group of people that you get along with so well. And we all have the same kind of quirky sense of humor, which is nice. David jokes around so much and plays jokes on us. You can't believe anything that comes out of his mouth, I have realized!
For the scoop on more of your favorite returning shows, pick up the Sept. 18 issue of TV Guide.
Send in your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.