Bones might be coming to an end very soon.
Fox Co-Chairman and CEO Dana Walden said Friday at the Television Critics Association winter previews that she's "really not sure" about a 12th season of the procedural. "It's top-of-next-week business to start talking to the producers about whether this will be the end of its run or whether there is potentially another season," Walden said. "We haven't made a decision."
Should this be the final season, Walden promised a decision would be made soon so that the producers will have "plenty of time" to craft a "meaningful ending" to the series. "It's got such a loyal viewership and those viewers deserve a very satisfying ending, so we're trying to be very sensitive about that. Not 100 percent sure what we're going to do yet."
Walden, who ruled out continuing the show without stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz to TVLine, added that the pending lawsuit between the leads and 20th Century Fox over profits has no bearing on the renewal.
Fox is also uncertain about the fate of Sleepy Hollow, which bounced back this season with a reboot after a disastrous sophomore season. Though Walden said she and Co-Chairman and CEO Gary Newman are "really happy" with Sleepy's creative this year, she acknowledged that the kitchen-sink supernatural series is a difficult show to repeatedly reinvent itself. "It's not a show we're prepared to pick up today, but we're liking what we're seeing and we're going to be making a decision over the next few months," she said.
Here's what else was discussed at the panel:
24, still living another day: Newman and Walden shared more details about the new Jack Bauer-less 24 event series 24: Legacy, which will feature a time jump, a new crop of CTU and special ops characters and sleeper cell stories. The lead character is named Eric Carter, which has not yet been cast, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox is looking to cast an African-American in his 20s. Walden said Legacy also has a female co-lead, who is a former head of the CTU, but neither lead will dominate the screen time like Jack did. "It doesn't feel like it is fully replicating the original in terms of how much Jack Bauer carried by himself, but it's a very prominently featured lead," she said.
But could any old faces come back? Never say never, but right now, not," Walden said. "There are nods in the pilot to prior CTU agents, photos that would feel reminiscent of the original, but no ongoing characters."
The X-Files: The upcoming six-episode might just be an appetizer. Newman said Fox is "absolutely" open to more X-Files. "The biggest impediment to going forward with The X-Files was the schedules of David [Duchovny] and Gillian [Anderson] and to an extent, Chris [Carter]," he said. "Even the other night at the premiere, we were sort of laughing and joking that we would love to do this again. So we would be onboard if the schedules could be worked out."
Scream Queens: Walden confirmed that some actors from Season 1 will return for the hospital-set second season as the same characters. (Is that why no one died in the first season?) "I'm not 100 percent sure exactly what [Ryan Murphy's] plans are, but the initial conversations were very much to return with some of the characters," she said.
So You Think You Can Dance: Walden anticipates the series returning with some changes to give it "a little spin." "We're not finished in our conversations with the producers, but we love the show and hope and anticipate that it will be coming back," she said.
Empire: What sophomore slump? Fox's No. 1 baby, which has been renewed for a third season, has taken a lot of heat for a patchy and even more outrageous second season, but Newman said he and Walden are pleased that the show has managed to continue momentum after its breakout first season. "If that show is off creatively, we would like all of our shows to be off creatively," he said. "The audience, I don't think, shares the same feelings as maybe some of the critics have about the storytelling. I think that they've done a great job this year. There is, as you imagine, an enormous amount of pressure. ... I think the show is in a great spot. We've heard a lot about the story arcs for the back eight episodes of the season and we think the audience is just going to have a great time following along with that show."