After over a decade of dormancy -- save for the 2008 standalone theatrical film I Want to Believe -- The X-Files made its grand return to TV earlier this year, airing a 6-episode revival season featuring the original cast and guided creatively by franchise creator Chris Carter. While reactions to the revival were somewhat mixed, the ratings were much less so, as The X-Files quickly became one of the highest-rated dramas on FOX once again.
Naturally, fans assumed that this success would lead to more episodes, and FOX has seemed more than happy to oblige. The major hurdle has been coordinating the schedules of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, although the network has always remained hopeful that a deal can be reached, possibly for a 2018 premiere.
That hopeful tone continued today at the summer TCA gathering, with FOX executives David Madden and Dana Walden noting that all the big players are in talks to return, and that a potential X-Files season 11 would likely be longer than the arguably too abrupt season 10.
"Madden: "We would love to do other seasons. There are significant talks with all three principals. We are working hard, and would like to get a new season soon."
Walden: "We would have liked to do more in the first place, but there were limitations. Gillian lives in the U.K. David in New York and Los Angeles. The show shoots in Vancouver. So it’s about coordinating a time when they can carve time to be in Vancouver."
On the subject of a longer season, Walden said that while an increased episode count for season 11 is probably in the cards, fans still shouldn't expect any longer than an HBO-style season length:
"We’re in conversations where we can do more. I don’t see a full season of episodes, but I’d be happy to get 10 or 8 episodes.”
While most X-Philes will no doubt be overjoyed to learn that a longer season could be coming their way, those who criticized the revival season might be hoping that a creative revamp will be happening as well. Unfortunately for those in that camp, Madden and Walden are firmly sticking by Carter's vision for where The X-Files should go:
"Madden: "I actually think the season was strong. The episodes represent Chris and his team’s vision, and we will take our cue from them."
Walden: "The show was off the air for a very long time. It was introduced to new viewers, and (the writers) had the challenge of filling in the mythology. Going forward, there won’t be the same obligation to reset the series."
No matter what direction Carter and company opt to take the series going forward, there's no reason to believe that X-Files diehards won't tune in regardless, as the franchise has one of the most loyal fan bases around. The real test for X-Files will be whether the masses return next time. 2016's revival was promoted as quite the television event, and that likely spurred many new or casual viewers to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. With season 11 not coming after a decade-plus hibernation, one wonders if the FOX marketing machine will be able to work that same magic again.
The X-Files season 11 has yet to be officially confirmed, although talks are ongoing.