Since it was officially announced that FOX is going to be bringing The X-Files back, fans have been understandably curious which of the show’s many familiar faces would return alongside stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Creator Chris Carter has voiced his hope to bring “everyone” back for the six-episode run, and Mitch Pileggi and William B. Davis have already been confirmed to show up as Walter Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man, respectively.
However, while Fox is undoubtedly banking on the nostalgia factor to lure in viewers, the new X-Files cannot rely simply on a parade of established characters to tell its story. Now we know who will be the first announced new addition to the show’s returning players and characters/cast members.
According to THR, Joel McHale will guest on The X-Files revival as Tad O’Malley, a news anchor for a popular conservative website and a surprising ally for Mulder. McHale’s appearance on the show will be his first time back on broadcast television since NBC’s 2014 cancellation of Community. The show recently concluded its sixth season on Yahoo! Screen, and now it remains unclear if Dan Harmon’s cult comedy series will be back for another year.
By the sounds of it, McHale’s X-Files role could play off of his real-life experience behind a desk, as he has hosted The Soup on E! since 2004. As an actor, his experience does lean heavily towards comedy. So it should be interesting to see how well he gels with The X-Files‘ tone and how much of his own sarcastic persona he is able to bring to the role. Considering that his character is said to be host of a conservative news channel who also provides assistance to Duchovny’s Mulder, it’s easy to see how McHale could be playing with the irony of a more liberal-minded man having to sacrifice his beliefs for his professional life.
In any case, McHale has proven his appeal both in films and on television, and his addition to the new batch of X-Files episodes – currently being scripted by Carter – should provide a boost of confidence in fans that may be concerned about which performers are being lined up to appear in the revival. It also bodes well, with regard to the prospect of the X-Files revival living up to the specific tone that fans expect from the show (and mind you, for devoted X-Files buffs, those are pretty monstrous expectations after so much time).
The X-Files revival series will premiere on FOX at 10pm on Sunday, January 24th, 2016.