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The TV Column

Fox workhorse Bones coming down to the wire

By Michael Storey

This article was published March 16, 2017 at 1:56 a.m.

david-boreanaz-and-emily-deschanel-are-shown-in-2006-in-a-scene-from-the-second-season-of-bones-the-long-running-series-comes-to-an-end-at-8-pm-march-28-on-fox

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel are shown in 2006 in a scene from the second season of Bones. The long-running series comes to an end at 8 p.m. March 28 on Fox.

While many TV viewers are concentrating on the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Division I basketball tournament today, others are making no Bones about it.

Sadly for fans, it's almost time to bid a fond farewell to FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel). Bones is down to its final two episodes in its 12th and final season.

The penultimate episode, "The Day in the Life," airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox, with the series finale, "The End in the End," set for the same time March 28.

The durable Bones has aired in six different time slots on five different nights during its long run, but all good things must come to an end, and it's time to wrap up not only the Brennan/Booth storyline, but all those of their Jeffersonian Institution crime-busting team.

Full disclosure: I lost interest in the series after the opener of Season 10 when they killed off Sweets (John Francis Daley). I moved on to other interests. It happens. There are only so many hours in the day. But the show, with its loyal core audience, has been a workhorse for Fox ever since it debuted on Sept. 13, 2005.

When the show wraps up, there will be 246 episodes that will air forever in reruns. That's quite a record in this day of quickly canned series. (I'm looking at you, Katherine Heigl. Your Doubt was gone from CBS after only two episodes this season.)

The only member of the Bones cast I've had a chance to meet is David Boreanaz. And that was way back in 1997 when he was only 28 and one of the stars of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

That was a couple of years before he starred in the Buffy spinoff Angel (1999-2004) and long before he was the first cast member signed for Bones.

That '97 chat took place at a "Breakfast With Buffy" meet-and-greet press event put on by The WB in Los Angeles. Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was swarmed by TV writers the moment she arrived and I never got to meet or greet her until a couple of years later, when we toured the Buffy set.

But for four of us TV writers munching bagels at our table way in the back, something really more fortunate occurred.

Arriving late and having to sit with us for the 45 minutes were a young (23) Alyson Hannigan (she played Buffy's BFF Willow Rosenberg), Boreanaz, and Buffy creator and Hollywood cult icon in the making Joss Whedon.

How iconic? Whedon not only brought us Buffy and Angel, but down the road he would produce and/or write and/or direct Firefly (2002), Serenity (2005), Dollhouse (2009-2010), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), The Avengers films (2012, 2015) and the current Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (from 2013).

Aside: I still fume at Fox's untimely cancellation of Firefly after a scant 11 episodes. I had gotten to tour the Firefly set with Whedon in 2002 and it was a shame to see such potential frittered away by the network. It lives on as a revered cult favorite.

Boreanaz was personable and chatted about his career, growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., where he was the son of a local TV weatherman and how lucky he felt to be a part of a hit TV show.

Buffy was early in his career and his first big break. Few recall his 1993 role in Aspen Extreme as "Spectator," or the uncredited role of "Parking Valet" in 1993's Best of the Best II. After Buffy, Boreanaz has been a series lead since 1999.

Hannigan went on to cinematic glory as libidinous flute-playing band geek Michelle Flaherty in American Pie, American Pie 2, American Wedding and American Reunion, and found further fame and fortune as Lily in the long-running CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014).

Hannigan married her Buffy co-star Alexis Denisof (he played "watcher" Wesley Wyndam-Pryce) in 2003. They have two daughters.

For the record, Boreanaz will direct Bones' final episode, his 14th as director. In a Feb. 27 appearance with the online interview outfit Build Series NYC, Boreanaz said, "It's one of those bittersweet kind of moments for me. I so enjoyed doing the show and a character that I loved playing every day. But it finally got to a place where it was time to move on."

About the finale, Boreanaz teased, "The series ends where it began. And that's all I'll say about that."

Boreanaz also did not rule out a Bones reunion down the line. "I'd never say 'no' to that," he said.

For me, I'd pay good money for them to return as their undercover alter egos Buck and Wanda Moosejaw. That'd make a very special TV movie.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend on 03/16/2017

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