Did an episode of new CBS procedural Instinct 'copy-paste' an episode of Bones?

The showrunner has described the similarities as 'very distressing'

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 05 April 2018 09:19 BST
Back to back comparison shows similarity between TV shows Instinct and Bones

If you felt a sense of deja vu watching a recent episode of CBS' Alan Cumming-starring police procedural Instinct, it might have less to do with the hackneyed genre than the origin of the script.

Fans spotted major similarities between Bones' season 5 episode 3, 'The Plain in the Prodigy' (2009), and Instinct season 1 episode 3, 'Secrets and Lies' (2018), which both centre on an investigation in an Amish community and a mystery surrounding a pianist.

It's not just the plots that are near identical, however, but much of the dialogue.

A line in Instinct:

"If I was a teenager I'd wanna get out of here too. Nice quilt though!"

A line in Bones:

"If I was a teenager I'd want out of this place too. Nice quilt though!"

Comparisons of scenes appear in the video above.

The link between the two episodes would seem to be Christopher Ambrose, who is listed on IMDb as the writer of the Instinct episode and the producer and writer of several episodes of Bones, though not 'The Plain in the Prodigy'.

Instinct showrunner Michael Rauch has apologised for the incident while describing it as "100% unintentional".

"Yeah, heard about this," he responded to an angry tweet. "Very distressing and 100% unintentional. Looking into it and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And of course apologies to Bones (and their fans). Thanks for the heads up."

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