Exclusive

Exclusive: Bones Plotting Bonus 'Mini-Season' to Possibly Air Next Summer

Bones‘ unorthodox approach to its seventh season just got even… unorthodoxier.

You’ll recall that Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy already forced the show to scale back its number of episodes to 13, six this fall (beginning Nov. 3) and seven in the spring, with its spinoff, The Finder, bridging the gap in the winter. Well, now comes word that Fox has ordered four additional episodes, possibly to air over the summer or be carried to Season 8 (assuming there is a Season 8).

Executive producer Stephen Nathan acknowledges that “it’s a very odd situation we’re in,” adding that Fox “has scheduled us for 13 episodes, but they want as many episodes as we can produce.”

Whatever happens, the four bonus hours will likely air apart from the original 13. “We’re constructing the season so that the finale is Episode 13,” Nathan says. “And then there will ultimately be four more episodes that we can play with. [Fox] could run them on a different night, they could run them in the summer, or they could hold them for fall.”

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the four extras, they will be written as standalones. “Because the show is centrally episodic, and we know what’s happening with Booth and Brennan, we can do four great episodes that are almost like a mini-season,” Nathan explains. “So we can do a four-episode mini season after the 13-episode regular season.”

“It’s weird, and it’s a challenge,” he concludes. “But we’ll do it.”