City of Brotherly Love? Maybe. But David Boreanaz has a nasty case of envy for his fellow Philly boy Bradley Cooper.

"I get so jealous seeing Bradley Cooper shooting Silver Linings Playbook with Robert De Niro," Boreanaz says. "I'd love to shoot something like that that captures the Philadelphia heart. I appreciate the city a lot."

Cheer up, David. When Bones returns from its winter hiatus on Monday, you get to tango through the same sort of ballroom dancing challenge that Cooper faced in Silver Linings.

Only the guest star isn't De Niro; it's the raucous Mary Murphy from So You Think You Can Dance.

In the special two-hour episode, Booth (Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) go undercover as contestants to catch a murderer on a TV show called Dance to the Top.

Did he enjoy shooting the choreography-heavy script? "Well, except for the outfits," he says, laughing.

"The dancing show is a great thank-you for our fans who love seeing them go undercover. It's a unique change of pace from the dramatic serial-killer thing we're usually doing."

Actually, Bones' fans love seeing just about anything Brennan and Booth choose to do. It was announced this week that the show has been renewed for a ninth season beginning next fall.

That would push it past 24 and House into a tie with The X-Files as Fox's second-longest-running drama (trailing only Beverly Hills 90210).

"It's been great to see it slowly find its audience, to see it maintain itself under the radar," Boreanaz, 43, says by phone from California, where he lives. "It's become a staple of the Fox schedule. It doesn't do well in awards season, but I think that's because it's impossible to classify."

Boreanaz's lengthy tenure on Bones follows extended runs on two other series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

Good thing he's got an iron work ethic.

"I always loved to work, even as a kid," says the Malvern Prep grad. "I spent years at the Lancaster County Farmer's Market [in Wayne]. I started in the produce department; I was a short-order cook; I dabbled in meats and eventually settled in nuts."

Boreanaz is the son of 6ABC's longtime weatherman Dave Roberts (born David Thomas Boreanaz). The broadcaster got his start in Buffalo, N.Y. (where David was born), moving his family to the Philadelphia area when the boy was in grade school.

"It was kind of strange," the actor says of the transition. "In Buffalo, he was Dave Thomas and then he changed it when we came here to avoid confusion with Lisa Thomas-Laury. He became Dave Roberts."

The son always maintained the family name. "When I first moved out here and got my agent," he recalls, "he said, 'Would you want to change Boreanaz?' That conversation lasted all of two minutes."

Boreanaz reports that his father has been enjoying life since retiring in 2009: "He loves it. He's able to come out here and spend more time with his grandchildren. He deserves time to chill out and not be frantic about snowfall in the tri-state area."

On this day, the only slick surface Boreanaz, who lives with his wife and two children near Calabasas, is concerned with is ice.

A fervent Flyers fan (and still a rink rat himself), he's happily focused on the resolution of the NHL lockout and the prospect of even an abbreviated season.

"We fans got ripped off a little bit," he says. "But I'm totally pumped up. It'll be a mad rush to the playoffs."

He's convinced the Flyers' chances depend entirely on the goalie: "It's all on [Ilya] Bryzgalov this year."

The TV star's passion for hockey runs deep. "One of the best experiences I've had in my life was taking my son Jaden to the Heartland Hockey Camp [in Minnesota] last summer," he says. "It's a boy's dream - all mud and smells and mosquitoes. But they have a great rink. For nine days, fathers skate with their sons. You live in a dorm with them.

"We're going back, only this year we're getting a treehouse cabin."

Boreanaz' family life hit a rough patch in 2010 when a tabloid revealed that before Rachel Uchitel gained notoriety as one of Tiger Woods' mistresses, she had a steamy affair with Boreanaz. (A female extra on Bones also sued him for sexual harassment, since settled.)

In a 2011 interview with TV Week, Boreanaz said that he and his wife, former Playboy Playmate Jaime Bergman, had worked through this "extremely rocky" chapter, and that his marital transgressions became "a bonding experience, in the long run."

He'd rather not revisit the topic.

"Sometimes in life you come across options, you make your choices and then you have to deal with the consequences," he says. "I'm a moment-to-moment guy. I'm here now and I'm blessed."

Besides the return of Bones, he's also in a film being released this week - Officer Down, along with Stephen Dorff, James Woods, Stephen Lang, Dominic Purcell, Tommy Flanagan of Sons of Anarchy, and Walton Goggins of Justified.

"You may have to travel to see it," notes Boreanaz, laughing. "It's a limited release. I think it's in a theater in New York for one day and then it goes directly to DVD."

For now, he's knuckling down to the second half of the Bones season. As the star, producer, and sometime director of the series, he has a good amount of influence on the outcome.

So maybe this is the year he'll get his dream episode made.

"I've always wanted to do a Stanley Cup episode," he says. "I was going to try to get some of the boys out here. [Flyers center Claude] Giroux is too pretty. JVR [James Van Riemsdyk] is up in Toronto now. But Scotty [Hartnell} is a Bones fan.

"I'd love to figure out how to get them on. But why don't we try to get a new coach to replace Andy Reid and then we'll look at that."

Well, you can take the boy out of Philly . . . .