The Showrunner and the Spin-off: BONES Creator Hart Hanson Previews Tonight’s FINDER Episode

geoff stulfs the finder

On tonight’s BONES, fans will get their first taste at the much-anticipated FINDER spin-off. Just don’t tell creator Hart Hanson you’re calling it that.

“Spin-off has always been a troublesome term to me,” said Hanson during a recent conference call with reporters. “It’s more like we did a crossover with a series that doesn’t exist yet and that we hope it does come to exist.”

Unfortunately for Hanson, getting a pilot ordered to series is easier said than done. Particularly on a successful network like Fox, which thanks to a slew of high profile commitments to the likes TERRA NOVA and THE X FACTOR isn’t exactly overflowing with available time slots come Fall.

Which is probably why rather than take the time an energy away from BONES to develop a completely new stand-alone series as he did with last season’s failed Jason Isaacs legal procedural PLEADING GUILTY, Hanson, along with producing partner 20th Century Fox cleverly opted to tap into the 10-12 million passionate fans that tune into BONES every week.

“The idea of a crossover really appealed to me because last year when I went to do a pilot [PLEADING GUILTY] I was away from BONES for weeks and weeks and this being a BONES episode meant I could keep an eye on getting through the end of the season on BONES while doing this spin-off at the same time,” said Hanson.”Plus, it’s a really good financial model for the studio and the network. It just seemed like a good thing to try and I have great hopes for it.”

Hopes that may-or-may not be realized based on tonight’s introduction of “The Finder” Walter Sherman. “Good stories are generated by people after a tangible thing or outcome, and it seemed to me that doing a series based on a guy [Sherman] who could find things, both tangible and intangible, for people would be a really good idea for a series. It just generates so many stories.”

Also sure to help contribute in the story generation department is Hanson’s track record for casting immensely likeable actors, starting with the titular Locator. But just what (aside from that chin!) did he see in first time leading man Geoff Stults to make him think he had that increasingly rarified quality to carry an entire series on his shoulders?

“I feel like it was akin to how they must have felt when they saw Tom Selleck walk in the first time. A big handsome guy who’s very funny and doesn’t seem to be at all vain about his looks.” said a cautiously optimistic Hanson, ” “It feels like a show to me, but I guess we’ll know Friday morning how the BONES fans took to Walter, Ike and Leo.”

“The Finder” Episode of BONES airs Thursday April 21st at 9PM on FOX (Global TV in Canada)

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  • Nick

    Stults…a series lead? Hoo-boy. Anyone ever see 7th Heaven or October Road?

  • Maureen

    I was not impressed with the Finder crossover episode of Bones. The case itself was not all that compelling, there was not enough Brennan and Booth. Also, the Finder characters were not all that compelling. Walter Sherman came across as an arrogant sob and the accent on the female made it hard to even understand what she was saying. Michael Clark Duncan seemed to be the only half decent character of the three. I don’t think this episode would be enough to actually launch a series and if it does become a series I would not be interested in watching it.

    HH should stick to what he is successful at — Bones.