HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Actors Geoff Stults, Maddie Hasson and Michael Clarke Duncan attend Fox's "The Finder" Challenge at Hollywood & Highland Courtyard on January 9, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
After debuting within the confines of an episode of “Bones” last season, the quirky semi-spinoff “The Finder” can finally be found on the Fox schedule.
The series, loosely adapted from author Richard Greener’s novel series "The Locator," feature Geoff Stults as Walter Sherman, a wisecracking but also paranoid recluse who’s in high demand because of his near-miraculous ability to locate just about any missing person or thing on the planet, an ability he believes he gained after barely surviving an explosion while serving in the Army Military Police.
As Walter relies on a support team that includes his lawyer/bodyguard/best bro Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan), U.S. Marshall and on-again, off-again paramour Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masohn) and young, sweet-and-sour tempered second generation thief Willa (Maddie Hasson), the creative team promises the same kind of offbeat attitude to the crime-solving procedural that set the standard for ‘Bones.’
“Right from the get‑go, ‘The Finder’ was conceived as a partner to ‘Bones,’ something that existed in the same universe,” says executive producer Hart Hanson. “That was the pitch right from the beginning, so Barry Josephson and I talked very briefly before that about whether we wanted to go to that same tonal place, and, yeah, we did – we've had a lot of fun on ‘Bones.’ And once I saw the potential in a show about a guy who finds things, I thought ‘Oh, it's different enough from ‘Bones’ that I would be very, very interested in doing it, I hope, for seven seasons.’”
“Walter really believes that his issue is what allows him [to do what he does] ‑‑ it's his gift,” says Stults. “Whether it's true or not, whether he really is gifted in that way, whether his injury is the reason that he's good at finding things is true or not, it doesn't matter because he believes it. The dynamic between Isabel and Walter is that Isabel fears it, doesn't understand it, whereas Leo understands it and embraces it. that the relationship is like, "Let's help you. Let's get fixed." The thing is Leo and ‑‑ the dynamic between Leo and Walter is that Leo may or may not believe it to be true, but he knows that it's true to Walter. So he supports that.”
But despite venturing into Walter’s darker corners, the series’ tone will be consistently smart-alec-y. “The thing that drew me to the character and the show, was that Hart, Barry, these guys have created a character where a leading man can be quirky,” reveals Stults. “I love the fact that Walter ‑‑ the way they wrote it and the way that I approach it is that Walter -- doesn't take himself seriously.
Co-star Duncan insists that Stults “is EXACTLY like Walter. He is not acting. Everything you see Walter Sherman do, I see him do it when the cameras are not rolling. He is naturally quirky. He's goofy. He's complicated. I mean, he doesn't study his lines. He has them taped everywhere. He tapes them to my chest.”
“It's a big chest,” shrugs Stults. “I can put a lot of s**t on it.”
“I think that Walter runs a huge range of masculinity,” adds Hanson. “Sometimes he will shriek when he sees things, and other times he will attack a hit man. It depends on his ‑‑ how threatened he feels and how much he's understanding what's happening around him. He needs a lifeguard. I think of Walter and Leo as a bit like an id and a superego where Leo connects with actual social situations. And Walter has none of that. It’s a great story engine for us to have a lead character who is never held back by social constraints, much like [‘Bones’ leading lady] Brennan, for a different reason, but it's the same thing. He says what he thinks. He blurts. He's insulting. And there's this decent, big‑hearted man kind of cleaning up behind him and is simultaneously keeping people from killing him.”
"The Finder" debuts tonight at 8 PM ET on Fox