Just yesterday, news arrived that Fox was close to issuing a green-light for a revival of classic sci-fi series The X-Files, and now it’s official: the truth is still out there, and Mulder and Scully are making their way back to television to find it.
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are both signed on to reprise their respective roles of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, characters they’ve been playing on-and-off since 1993 over the course of nine seasons and two films, in a six-part limited series. Series creator and executive producer Chris Carter is also returning in those same capacities, with production on the revival being eyed for this summer. No premiere date has been announced.
It’s expected that each episode will find Mulder and Scully investigating a different case. Carter recently stated:
“I think of it as a 13-year commercial break. The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories.”
Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, both of whom have been with the network since the creation of The X-Files, expressed their excitement for the revival in an official statement:
“We had the privilege of working with Chris on all nine seasons of The X-Files — one of the most rewarding, creative experiences of our careers — and we couldn’t be more excited to explore that incredible world with him again. The X-Files was not only a seminal show for both the studio and the network, it was a worldwide phenomenon that shaped pop culture — yet remained a true gem for the legions of fans who embraced it from the beginning. Few shows on television have drawn such dedicated fans as The X-Files, and we’re ecstatic to give them the next thrilling chapter of Mulder and Scully they’ve been waiting for.”
It’s true that the show’s “dedicated fans” have long been calling for a new vehicle for Mulder and Scully, be it a feature film sequel to The X-Files: I Want to Believe or a small-screen return. They powered the two feature films to $190 million and $68 million worldwide and watched the series in such numbers that, in its prime, The X-Files was drawing nearly 20 million viewers a week (making it far and away Fox’s highest-rated show at that time).
The X-Files returning to airwaves is just the latest example of a long-dead series finding new life in the form of a limited series. Fox pulled a similar trick, to solid ratings, with 24: Live Another Day, and Showtime is working on a Twin Peaks continuation. Meanwhile, Walden and Newman have also stated they want to pursue a revival for Prison Break, so the year may see more unlikely TV revivals yet.