Interview with Executive Producers Hart Hanson & Stephen Nathan from Bones

The other day, Executive Producers Hart Hanson & Stephen Nathan spoke to the press about the upcoming season of Bones. If you remember, at the end of last season, Bones (Emily Deschanel) told Booth (David Boreanaz) that she was pregnant and he was the father. Hart, Stephen, & the writers chose to write her pregnancy into the show when Emily told them she was pregnant. Fans everywhere went wild. some were dismayed, some were overjoyed, but a lot were worried about how it would affect the show and the duo’s chemistry.

Hart and Stephen talked about that and more, so check it out after the jump!

On keeping the balance of the show intact after adding in the new relationship

Stephen: Well, really um, I think to us, it was somewhat organic. We just continued to write Booth and Brennan in the same way, which were two completely disparate characters who agreed on very little on the surface. Only now, they’re dealing with a pregnancy and a relationship. So, it really seemed to be a natural extension of the previous six years of Bones.

Hart: Our big worry—Stephen and I used to talk about this all the time. We knew that Booth and Brennan would get together euphemistically in the season—in the Season 6—and we knew that it would be over the death of a beloved Squintern and then, we sort of got this big gift. Then, Stephen and I had to talk all of the time. “Well what happens next? What does it look like? What replaces unrequited—sexual tension? What interesting dynamic replaces that?”

And it’s a tough one. And we talked about it at great length and then, the Gods intervened and Emily came and said, “I’m pregnant.” At that moment we knew what replaced sexual tension was an actual human being.

Stephen: Also, I think what we really wanted to avoid more than anything was to have two—have a couple madly in love with each other, because it’s to me that’s always going out to dinner with a couple who have just met and make out all through dinner. And you want to kill them and never have dinner with them again. So we wanted to avoid that dinner. And we successfully did. We have a couple who we can invite over every week for dinner and they’re great company.

Hart: They can never go out to dinner.

Stephen: Yes, they can’t go out, but at least, make out while you’re eating.

On how a mini summer season might work

Stephen Nathan: Well, what we—we have no idea what the scheduling is. We don’t have any idea of what the scheduling will be. They do want to do ultimately, seventeen episodes. How it airs is really up to Fox. We’re kind of at this point, going along with the premise that we’ll do a season of thirteen episodes and the remaining four episodes are still up in the air where they will air, or how they will air. They could air before what we consider our last episode even. So, that’s a long way of saying we have no idea of when those four episodes will play out.

Hart Hanson: It’s a real pickle for us because we don’t quite know where to place these four stories in our universe and it’s tough if they air all in a row, they would be odd because they don’t—they would not contain any meaningful character arts. So, it’s a pickle. We’re hoping we can get some guidance, perhaps after we air for a while and perhaps, after we see how the rest of the Fox show does.

On possible crossovers for The Finder

Hart: I’m crossing my fingers right now, but we shot a show in which Sweets came down to take part in an investigation and evaluate Walter through the FBI and right now, we’re closing in on having a conspiracy theory episode in which the ideal character, of course, is Jack Hodgins to come down and be dueling conspiracy theorists with Walter. The idea is really funny. We just have to make sure that TJ is available and that it fits into his schedule, but it’s looking pretty good for that, and we want to do one more. We want to do one more. We don’t know what it is yet.

By the way, we’re also looking to see if there is a place and a room for Stephen Fry to appear in a Finder episode as Gordon Gordon Wyatt.

On more character back stories

[Note from Jenny: Jim Halterman asked this question and mentioned that TJ Thyne has tweeted that he would like to see more of his character’s back story.]

Hart: TJ is angling to be the lead of the show. He had so many ideas. You may have seen his—he is a really good writer and director if you check out his work on YouTube. So he has tons of ideas and man, as an actor, he’s up for anything. But, well what do we want to admit to Stephen?

Stephen: Well, we can admit to we’re going to hear a little bit about his grandfather and see him kind of dive-in in episode six with our new resident villain. Kind of dive-in as only Jack Hodgins can, and in adding a bit of conspiracy and a bit of code breaking. So, he’s—

Hart: And, we have a story in our pocket about TJ—Hodgin’s brother. But, it’s in my mind, and Stephen may talk me out of this, in my mind it’s attached to a piece of casting that I can’t imagine doing it without this piece of casting attached to it or my interest level drops. So, we have to wait and see if that happens and no, I would never admit who it is.

Stephen: But, we will see, you know, there’s a lot of Angela and Hodgins in the first six actually. And so we learn more about them than we ever have before as well. And Billy Gibbons returns.

Hart: Stephen you want to—yes, you want to take an opportunity to talk a bit about the new Squintern?

Stephen: Well, I think everybody’s seen the new Squintern, Finn. Luke Kleintank [Gossip Girl, The Young and the Restless, No Ordinary Family] plays him and he is somebody who will be recurring with us. He’s phenomenal.

Hart: I really just want to hear you say, “Luke Kleintank.”

Stephen: I know. We’ve cast some actors just because of their names this year.

Hart: Yes, I just want to say starring with Luke’s flying tank.

Stephen: And he is great. We are already writing him in—he’s already returning. And we’ll get into that in the last eleven, but I don’t want to give anything away, but he comes back and it’s quite a nice involvement with the other characters.

Hart: And babies do tend to drag relatives out of the woodwork, so we have some. I think, actually the Booth and his grandfather and his father’s story in the first six is maybe one of the best episodes of Bones ever, certainly one—an amazing performances by David Boreanaz and I’m dying for everyone to see. And that has family attached. And also, Stephen, I don’t know if we should admit too, but we think we have a pretty good idea for who should take care of the baby.

Stephen: Yes, I think that’s something that we can keep to ourselves until the—because that’s after the first six. But it’ll be a lot of fun, yes.

On what might be coming up this season with Cam, besides the new squintern

Stephen: Well, so far in the first six, it really—a lot has to do with the new intern and her juggling the lab with this new dynamic. You know, with Brennan being pregnant and still trying to maintain a functioning lab. She is going to have–

Hart: And she still has daughter problems.

Stephen: Yes, and though the remainder of the episode.

Hart: … story line, Stephen, do you?

Stephen: No. No, no, no. We can’t mention that story line, but there’s going to be a lot more for Cam in the second half of the year. We have all of that planned out now. A lot of stuff with her daughter. Um, she also is going out with a doctor still. So, all of that is going to be explored in the second half of the season when we come back, but we just had so much to do with Booth and Brennan that it was very, very difficult to service everybody as much as we would like. We keep asking the network—the network will only give us an hour. I don’t know why.

Hart: And imagine what it’s like to be the only woman in a work place who hasn’t had a baby.

On the case that was too gross to film

Hart: This is my main question these days.

Stephen: Really? That? It was in episode six with our new villain and there was actually—it was just something that I’m sure will appear on the DVD so the fans will be able to see it. But it was just a little bit too disgusting even for me. And I love disgusting, but it’s got to be a little bit funny. I know that …

Hart: Listen, Stephen is the gross one of us. He just took those opening sequences with the bodies and he just with great glee, he makes things horrible, and for him to say “that was too gross” is amazing. Can I also say that I saw—Stephen, I’m not going to blow what this is, but there was—we were looking at a rendering of remains in the lab when something happened that I physically ran away from the monitor as did one of the characters in the lab.

Stephen: Oh, yes, oh, yes, yes. That’s great, and that’s horrifying, but fun. You laugh a little bit. You—

Hart: Not so much me.

Stephen: Well you laugh and then maybe, you pee a little bit.

Hart: Well, I did come back and say, “Do it again! Do it again! Show me again!” And it never, oh just so horrible, but—

Stephen: I think what happened is that the thing that got me this time is that it was a fresh body, which we don’t normally do and the people who do the bodies are so brilliant. The Yeagers. Chris Yeager—they are so brilliant and they are so realistic that when it was kind of fresh and newly killed, it was too—it was just too horrible. It wasn’t…to the Bones fans, it was me. It wouldn’t have been right.

Hart: We learned a little bit of a lesson from the gravedigger’s head exploding about fresh, fresh murders.

Stephen: Yes, yes that was a you know—that was a little bit fun, but not, not—

Hart: Yes, no I don’t like it.

On filming with Emily while she was very pregnant

Hart: Emily … pregnancy at all. Tell them Stephen, tell the story about the stunt double in the first shot and the whole ….

Stephen: I just want to say one thing that Emily—we actually scheduled the shooting of episodes five and six so that we were shooting them at the same time. All I can say is Emily was so pregnant that she finished on Monday and had the baby the next day. So, she was working until—she basically was in the good earth. She was unbelievable, but she refused to have stunt people and there’s a scene that you’ll see in I think it’s the second episode, where she just has at some 350 pound man, and that was her.

Hart: Well, Stephen I was thinking that we hired a stunt double, remember? It was a story point that Booth was concerned about Brennan getting to across some broken ground to a crime scene and we told Emily, “Well, you know what Brennan would do—she’d run across there, but we’ll have a stunt double for that.” And she said, “No, I want to do it.” And we had to physically tell her “No. You’re not going to run across that to get to the body. We’ve got a stunt double for that.” She’s just been totally game.

Stephen: She just did absolutely everything. I mean, you know, there were a couple of times that the days were long, and we sent her home. But, honestly, she is built from iron. She is unbelievable.

Hart: Sadly, she is going to say it’s because she is a vegan, so I’m going to lose that war.

On how much we’ll see Patricia Belcher (Caroline)

Stephen: She is going to make at least four appearances this season even in the shortened season. We love that. She just does an incredible, incredible job.

Hart: Yes.

Stephen: And you’re absolutely right. Every scene she’s in, it just lights up. And David loves working with her, and they’re just a great couple.

Hart: Can I point out that Patty Belcher could not—is probably the actor who is least like her character than any actor I have ever worked with? She is not that woman, so she is an amazing actress.

On whether or not having the baby baptized and raising it in the church will be an issue

Hart: Oh, I would say so. Wouldn’t you Stephen?

Stephen: Oh, yes, we’re still playing that. They’re going through all of those huge issues that any couple goes through when they’re having a baby, so you know—

Hart: And the stakes are raised. They used to have these kind of theoretical arguments about God versus science. Well, now the stakes are raised. It has to do with the upbringing and shaping of a human being. So, it only makes it—that’s what I mean about it being such a gift to us. It’s like, “Oh wow! This brings a whole new level to the disagreements these two radically different people have about the way the world works and where people fit in the world.”

Stephen: And you will see that in the first episodes and also I can, without telling you anything at all, episode seven is that big time. Yes, they’re dealing with that issue in a pretty intense way, yes.
A special note for @ELXFBAM on Twitter, on my question of breast or bottle

Hart: You mean Brennan or Emily? Because Emily, we wouldn’t discuss that at all, at all. And, I think Brennan it’s something we’re discussing. I mean, it’ll be in the show. [Note from Jenny: Of course I meant Brennan! I’d never ask about Emily! LOL]
Hart & Stephen also mentioned that they will be going back mid-November to gear up production and write, and the show—including Emily—will begin filming the rest of the season in December. Kudos to Emily D. for jumping right back on the horse after having her baby! I know all the fans thank her!

Thanks again to Hart & Stephen, who you can chat with on Twitter at @HartHanson & @squarechicken). Remember, the season premiere of Bones on Thursday, November 3 on FOX at 9/8c. Don’t miss it!

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