Booth and Brennan will still be on the case next season, yet there’s a big shakeup behind the scenes on Fox’s Bones.
First, the great news: Fox has indeed renewed Bones for an eleventh season. The crime procedural becomes one of the very few dramas in recent years to survive over a decade on the air.
But showrunner Stephen Nathan—who has been the showrunner of the series since the very first episode—is stepping down to work on other projects at Fox. Instead, Bones executive producer Jonathan Collier and co-executive producer Michael Peterson will take command of the ship moving forward. Fox notes that Nathan hopes to re-join the series later in the season.
Showrunners often change on crime dramas so Nathan’s longtime reign on the series is really impressive. He was showrunner along with creator Hart Hanson for nearly all of that time, but Nathan would run the show solo when Hanson worked on other projects (like The Finder a few years back, or more recently Backstrom).
The renewal comes as the forensic procedural endures some of its lowest ratings. This season to date, Bones has averaged 7.7 million viewers and a 2.0 rating when including DVR playback. But Fox appreciates the series, as it’s considered a utility player that can always deliver an audience in a tough time slot. Ahead of the season 11 pickup, there was some worry that David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel might not re-up their contracts.
Hanson’s other Fox crime drama, the freshman series Backstrom, is still awaiting an official verdict on whether it gets a renewal.
The news follows Fox betting big on male-fronted comedies, giving series orders to John Stamos’ Grandfathered, Rob Lowe’s The Grinder, and Jack Cutmore-Scott’s The Guide to Surviving Life. Medical drama Rosewood, starring Morris Chestnut, was also ordered to series.
We’re in a frantic annual period of TV broadcasters making big decisions, so expect more series orders—and verdicts on existing shows, too. Follow @jameshibberd and @natalieabrams for up-to-the-minute details.