Fans of the late Fox procedural Bones noticed something familiar about the most recent episode of the new CBS procedural Instinct: it was eerily similar to an episode of Bones that aired in 2009. Both installments of the shows covered the murder of an Amish teen who ran away to the city. And the teen also happened to be a piano prodigy. And he also hid items that substituted for piano keys for a makeshift keyboard, which the detectives used to help crack the case. And the detectives interviewed the teens' piano teachers for more information.
Those details alone are eyebrow-raising clues, but it turns out the similarities go even deeper than that. One Bones fan, who posts on the tumblr blog OK Bones, put together a video (embedded below) showing just how close the two episodes are and, well, it doesn't look good at all for Instinct. Say what you will about the MadLibs-style writing of police procedurals, but the video shows that it might be even worse than that, right down to some of the throwaway dialogue that fills the space between one clue to the next.
Whether it's Instinct's Detective Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic) and Bones' Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) both noticing there were no posters on the wall of the teen's room, or Instinct's Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Alan Cumming) and Booth both saying, "Nice quilt, though!," or the feathers of a songbird both on a box, or the deceased teens' parents both asking for photos of their son or getting laptops of their kids killing it on the ivories, or... oh man, this really doesn't look good.
(For all you conspiracy nuts out there, it should be noted that the Instinct episode in question is not available on CBS All Access. Update: We've received reports that the episode is available in some areas. Check your local access.)
For the record, Instinct showrunner Michael Rauch went on Twitter to apologize for similarities, saying it was unintentional and that he's looking into it. The writer of the Instinct episode, Christopher Ambrose, was also a writer and producer on Bones.
Rauch has also reached out to Bones creator Hart Hanson, and Hanson seems to be taking things in stride and is supporting Rauch.
Take a look at the video comparison via The Independent for the evidence and decide for yourself.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS)