Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is a highly skilled forensic anthropologist who works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, DC, and writes novels as a sideline. When the standard methods of identifying a body are useless - when the remains are so badly decomposed, burned or destroyed that CSI gives up - law enforcement calls in Brennan for her uncanny ability to read clues left behind in the victim's bones.
Most law enforcement can't handle Brennan's intelligence, her drive for the truth, or the way she flings herself headlong into every investigation. Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) of the FBI's Homicide Investigations Unit is the exception. A former Army sniper, Booth mistrusts science and scientists - the "squints," as he calls them, who pore over the physical evidence of a crime. But even he cannot deny that the combination of his people-smarts and Brennan's scientific acumen makes them a formidable team.
Aside from Booth, Brennan is most comfortable with her equally brilliant colleagues at the Jeffersonian's Medico-Legal Lab. Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), an artist who specializes in reconstructing facial features and crime scenes, is Brennan's earthy and bawdy best friend; neophyte forensic anthropologist Dr. Zack Addy (Eric Millegan), who has a genius IQ, is Brennan's socially awkward associate; "the bug guy," conspiracy theorist Dr. Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne), is an expert on insects, spores and minerals; and Dr. Camille "Cam" Saroyan (Tamara Taylor), the street-smart and centered coroner, must wrangle all the geniuses under her purview.