Gillian Anderson's version of the truth appears to differ from others when it comes to explaining why The X-Files has come to an end. This year marked Season 11 and perhaps the end of the acclaimed sci-fi drama The X-Files, which first ran for nine seasons from 1993 to 2002 and returned for a six-episode revival to mark Season 10 in 2016. And while it took awhile to put it together, FOX was convinced that there was enough interest to put FBI Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) back on the case for Season 11 earlier this year.
Looking at the final numbers from TV ratings outlet TV Series Finale, it appeared to be a miscalculation in judgment, as The X-Files average viewership dropped from 9.5 million per episode in Season 10 to an average of 3.7 million viewers per episode in Season 11. Viewers certainly had an incentive to watch this year, since Anderson confirmed right before the show debuted in January what she first told us in October: that Season 11 of The X-Files would be her last.
On Monday, FOX also made it appear like Season 11 would be the last season for The X-Files – at least for now – after network co-chairman and CEO Gary Newman said in a conference call that "there are no plans to do another season at the moment." Naturally, the announcement was big news in the entertainment world, as several outlets reported on the end for Mulder and Scully's search for the truth. But Anderson seemed to take issue with the way TV Line characterized why the show was coming to an end. In a tweet responding to the report - which sported the headline, "X-Files: Fox Has 'No Plans' for a Season 12 Following Gillian Anderson Exit" - Anderson said (referring to the reporter of the piece), "Well Michael, the truth is...after exit of 77% of viewership." Her tweet is below:
Well Michael, the truth is...after exit of 77% of viewership. https://t.co/WyaHQnR3gt— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) May 14, 2018
It's easy to understand why Anderson wanted to set the record straight, considering that the headline may be interpreted as putting the onus on her for the show coming to an end. Instead, by pointing out the sharp decline in viewership, Anderson merely proved what many if not all people in the TV business already know: If you don't have the viewership, your show won't survive.
On top of that, Anderson has a reputation to protect as she moves on to other creative endeavors. Was her tweet direct? Absolutely. But at the same time, the last thing Anderson wants (or any actor wants, for that matter) is for viewers to place the blame squarely on her for the show being cancelled. In all likelihood, placing the blame on Anderson wasn't the intention of TV Line, but since words are so powerful and can be spread and misinterpreted on the internet so quickly, the best thing Anderson probably felt to do was to nip any potential problems in the bud before the story took on a life of its own – and ironically, became its own version of the truth.