BONES: Hart Hanson Talks Season 8, Booth and Brennan, Pelant’s Presence, and More
August 31, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
With BONES a little over two weeks away from coming back — and the new promos doing nothing to diminish my excitement for the upcoming season — now seems like a good time to start dishing out a little more info about the show’s eighth season, doesn’t it?
First up, I spoke with BONES boss Hart Hanson to get some hints on how Pelant will play into this season, what impact the bonus episodes have on their schedule, the latest on Booth and Brennan, and what he learned from…THE KILLING?!
I know there’s a lot up in the air in terms of scheduling, but what can you say about where things stand with the bonus episodes?
Hart Hanson: It’s a pain in the ass because we really like the four episodes, but they are standalone; they don’t have an arc. So we have to put them in a place where that’s not disruptive…An arc has to be somewhat resolved [so it's not jarring to have the bonus episode suddenly air] and we can’t put all four of them in a row, because not everyone would notice, but some people would notice that there is no story going through them. So we have to figure out where to put those. And you know we don’t have a lot of say over the scheduling. Fox does that. Luckily we have James Oh as our executive and he will call and say, “What do you want to happen?”And then he’ll go fight for it, which is really something.
So with that scheduling mayhem, how does that impact the visibility of Pelant in season 8? Is he going to show up a lot?
HH: What would be a lot?
More than two times in season 8?
HH: Yes. Yes. He will figure in our on-going story of the entire season.
Will play out similarly to how Gormagon was handled in season 3?
HH: Yes. It’s, I think, more organic than the Gormagon character. Even when he’s not in the show, he has an impact on our people…I think you’ll see in the first episode how that’s going to work.
With the time jump from last season’s finale to this season’s premiere — and Booth and Brennan being apart for all these months — what has this meant to them? Have they reevaluated their relationship at all?
HH: It’s a big deal. The fact that Brennan took Christine and went away for three months, it’s a big deal. I hope not exactly the way you think. I’m getting a lot of “Booth would be mad” or “Booth wouldn’t be mad,” but that’s way too simplistic. This is a couple who loves each other, and one of them did what she thought was right. It’s real. You just don’t pick up someone’s child and go away for three months and there not be [resolution].
But I hope people are [aware] — it’s Booth and Brennan. It’s not every other character. If we do it right — and you’ll tell us — we like it. We’re quite pleased. And we’ll see if everyone else is. Sometimes we’re pleased and other people aren’t.
On that note, what did you think of the reaction to the finale?
HH: I just get in trouble by answering this question, because the minute something is contentious and people are arguing about it, we’ve done our job.
[But] I learned something. THE KILLING. I would have bet after that fuss about the end of the [first season], so much anger and [noise], I would have thought that the tune-in at the beginning of the next season would be very high because people were so passionate about it. But no. They were actually mad enough where they were something like 40% down [in the ratings]. So you cannot stick your thumb in the audience’s eye. [BONES executive producer] Stephen [Nathan] said, “They’re actually dumping [THE KILLING]” and I said, “I don’t think so. I think they’ll come back and watch.” And they did not.
Well, that’s a good thing to be aware of. Looking forward to this year, what can you say about your cases?
HH: I really like our cases this year. Of course, we have to work really hard not to repeat since we’ve done a lot of episodes. The writers room up there knows not to repeat things. You know what else is nice? Science is progressing. So some of the machines were fanciful and wonderful in the first couple of seasons are now obsolete.
The cases this year have been really good. [BONES] is not about two people and a baby. It’s a murder show. And I think the room has come up with some really good murder cases.
Okay, so he was a little vague about the cases themselves, but at least Hanson was a little more open about who will temporarily replacing Brennan and episode 150.
BONES returns Monday, September 17th at 8 PM on Fox.
New BONES Season 8 Promo Teases How Brennan Might Clear Her Name
BONES Season 8 Promo: Brennan Goes Blonde While on the Run (And Takes Down Booth)
BONES’ Stephen Nathan on Why He Likes Pelant, the Challenge of Bringing Brennan Home, and Season 8′s ‘Darker Undertone’