The way “Bones” creator Hart Hanson sees it, Emily Deschanel helped him leap a major hurdle by having a baby.
Deschanel’s son with David Hornsby (“How to Be a Gentleman”) was born Sept. 21, but as “Bones” returns tonight (9 p.m., Fox 29) for its seventh season, her character, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, is still very much pregnant.
And the father, as fans learned in last season’s finale, is Brennan’s FBI agent partner, Seeley Booth (played by Malvern Prep’s David Boreanaz), with whom Brennan’s had a carefully orchestrated history of romantic near-misses (and, of course, at least one hit).
“When Emily got pregnant, I decided. . .that this is great, we’re going to leapfrog the whole ‘Moonlighting’ curse, where things change, but it doesn’t look like they changed,” Hanson said during a Fox party in Santa Monica, Calif., this past summer.
“It looks like they changed. She’s pregnant, and it’s his baby, and they have to contend with this. So in a way, I’m glad that it happened this way, rather than us doing it a year ago and now her getting pregnant.”
So it was good to have his hand forced?
“Absolutely. We had to replace sexual tension with something. And that something is a baby,” said Hanson, whose backup plan — “a cogitation on the idea that just because you sleep together doesn’t mean you’re with each other” — gave him “agita,” he said.
Deschanel’s timing also appears to have been perfect.
Her pregnancy “only changed one thing in [last] season, which is her saying, ‘I’m pregnant, and it’s yours.’ That’s the only thing that would’ve changed in our season. Although it changed everything . . .about this season,” Hanson said, adding, “Everything we’ve changed is for the better.”
Tonight’s episode takes place six months after Brennan’s blurted announcement and was filmed at a time when character was “as pregnant as the actress,” he said, with the plan to shoot as many as six episodes before Deschanel left on maternity leave.
Don’t expect a baby to keep Brennan out of action for long. Nor has motherhood slowed down Angela (Allentown’s Michaela Conlin, who was only playing pregnant).
“The Jeffersonian Institute has the best day care you could ever ask for. It’s open 24 hours a day and those babies are well cared-for and we don’t have to see [them] too often,” Hanson joked.
One face we will be seeing again: that of Philadelphia’s Michael Terry.
The Germantown Friends grad, who’s had a recurring role as Wendell Bray, one of Brennan’s interns, is “our first intern back,” Hanson said. “He’s an intensely lovable guy. I mean, both as a character and as a human being.”
Still, he’s not a full-time cast member, and “we will lose him” at some point, Hanson predicted, to another gig.
“He came so close on so many projects [this past pilot season]. I would have bet money” that his would have been the character killed off last spring so Terry could move on.
“But I’m glad he’s still around.”