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What Emily Deschanel Has Been Doing Since Bones Ended

For 12 seasons on the Fox series "Bones," Emily Deschanel played Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, the genius scientist and bestselling author who used her forensic anthropology prowess to help the FBI's Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) solve endless cases. Premiering in 2005, the show's finale aired in 2017. After the series' conclusion, Boreanaz continued his impressively long TV streak with the CBS action series "SEAL Team," but what about Deschanel?

Before signing to play the titular character on "Bones," Deschanel had a relatively short resume consisting of small roles in films like "Cold Mountain" and "Spider-Man 2," as well as guest appearances in episodes of TV series such as "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Crossing Jordan." With "Bones" rocketing her popularity up the charts, however, Deschanel's time after the series has been mostly spent acting in major roles across a handful of high-profile shows. Well, that, and a prolonged legal battle against Fox. Here's all the details on what the actress has been up to since "Bones."

Deschanel went from Bones to Animal Kingdom

After 12 years as the lead star on a hit crime procedural, it's not too surprising that Deschanel opted to take a much-deserved break after "Bones." In 2018, she booked only one role, voicing herself on an episode of "The Simpsons." 2019, two years after "Bones" ended, marked Deschanel's full-fledged return to the small screen.

Deschanel joined the recurring cast of "Animal Kingdom" during the fourth season of TNT's family crime drama. For this season, the actress played Angela, a recovering addict and ex-con who turns out to be a thorn in the side of Janine "Smurf" Cody (Ellen Barkin), the domineering matriarch of the crime family at the center of the show's story. While Angela shakes up the status quo of the Cody family a good bit in the time she's around, it's not too long before she takes her permanent exit from the series. Deschanel would not return to the series for either of its subsequent two seasons.

After her "Animal Kingdom" stint, Deschanel also had a guest role in the third season of the ABC police procedural series "The Rookie" and appeared in the indie drama film "Continue." However, it wouldn't be until roughly three years beyond "Animal Kingdom" that viewers would once again see the actress headlining a TV series.

Deschanel led Devil in Ohio for Netflix

"Bones" may be over, but Emily Deschanel still has a penchant for playing fictional doctors. 2022 saw the actress spearheading the Netflix show "Devil in Ohio." This suspenseful series centers on a psychiatrist who attempts to save a teenage girl from a bloodthirsty devil cult out in rural Ohio.

Deschanel portrays the show's lead, Dr. Suzanne Mathis, who tries to help cult escapee Mae (Madeleine Arthur) while simultaneously juggling her strained family life. Things go about as well as one might expect, with "Devil in Ohio" sprinkling all sorts of disturbing moments throughout its eight-episode run. "This genre is really interesting to me," Deschanel said in an interview with Collider. "I hadn't visited that for a while. The characters, especially, were fascinating. The motivations and the cult aspect was really fascinating to me."

Considering that "Devil in Ohio" was conceived as a limited series and its initial slate of episodes didn't do the best in terms of critical reception, it seems rather likely that the show won't be continuing in any form beyond its first season. Nonetheless, the Netflix series marks just one in a series of steps for Deschanel as she continues to branch out as an actress. "I've learned to really trust my gut with things," she said. "I really look for things that challenge me, as an actor, that don't take me away from my family too much, and that are different, especially from 'Bones.'"

Deschanel and her Bones co-workers sued Fox

Aside from continuing her acting career, Emily Deschanel and her "Bones" co-star David Boreanaz also reached the end of their prolonged involvement in a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the network Fox. Per a copy of the suit obtained by Deadline, it was first filed in 2015 —when "Bones" was still on the air — by the pair of co-stars along with several other involved members of the production. The group alleged that they had not received their proper share of profits from "Bones" despite the show's massive commercial success.

The prolonged case outlasted "Bones" itself, continuing up until 2019. Even then, the conclusion was anything but simple. Per a summarized report from The Hollywood Reporter, Deschanel and her co-workers ostensibly won the case in February and were given a whopping $179 million in damages. However, later that same year, the court voided the majority of this compensation. Finally, after several more months of uncertainty, Deschanel's side and Fox subsequently settled on the case, though the outcome and circumstances were not made public.

Despite this unsavory process, it seems that Deschanel bears no ill will towards her former role as Brennan on "Bones." In fact, the actress remains open to the possibility of more "Bones"-related projects in the future, such as a revival series. "'Never say never,' for me," she told TV Line in 2022. "I don't know, it's possible. I'd be open."