May 14, 2009

Best Development Season...EVER!

'Bones': Crisis Averted at Fox?

Fox and 20th Century Fox TV are thisclose to making a deal for a fifth season of "Bones"—but getting there wasn't without some tense moments.

With less than 100 hours before Fox announces its fall schedule, the network and its sister studio couldn't say late Thursday that a deal had been closed for another season of the show. However, people familiar with the matter said that the situation was moving quickly, and that a deal could be finalized as soon as tonight or tomorrow morning.

So, when all is said and done, "Bones" will almost certainly be back on Fox, and viewers will never know the difference.

But behind the scenes, there has been a bit of drama in recent days as 20th and Fox haggled over finding an appropriate license fee for "Bones."

Even though both companies play for Team Rupert, 20th and Fox operate as separate business units with their own bottom lines. The studio can't just cut Fox a break because the money all goes to the News Corp. treasury.

As TV MoJoe and others have reported before, networks are looking to cut license fees or limit fee increases wherever possible this year. And in the case of "Bones," Fox was looking to pay 20th less than the studio wanted.

While the two sides were never radically far apart, according to insiders, other network insiders report getting calls asking if they'd be interested in "Bones," and if so, how much they'd be willing to pay for it. That's an indication Fox and 20th were trying to discover the true market value of "Bones."

It's also understood that Endeavor's Rick Rosen, who represents a "Bones" executive producer, was brought into the picture to help with the talks. Rosen couldn't be reached for comment; 20th and Fox aren't talking, either.

  • Posted May 14 at 7:09 PM


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