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The Hollywood Reporter: TV Talk

The Hollywood Reporter
TV Talk

It has become an annual ritual: “The X-Files” wraps its season with a cliffhanger on- and offscreen. Will the show return for another season? That drama has been as engaging as the onscreen pursuit for the truth that everyone knows by now is out there.

Now the show’s creator, Chris Carter, who renewed his vows with 20th Century Fox TV for another season in a midnight call to Fox TV Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow in July, and the rest of the “X-Files” gang are back and ready to re invent the long-running series.

The trademark “X-Files” humor also is set for a comeback, and there will be new faces, including Cary Elwes and Annabeth Gish, who is starting her first season as a regular. “There are new characters who are sharing the stage with the old characters and, by necessity, they’re driving the show in new directions,” executive producer Frank Spotnitz said of the upcoming season, set to launch Nov. 4. “So it’s definitely the ‘X-Files’ television series that we’ve all come to know so well over the past eight years, but it feels very fresh and different.”

Agent Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) baby, whose birth was the culmination of the series’ cliff hanger season finale in May, will be central to the plot this year.

“There’s something afoot, and it involves what could be looked at as a new conspiracy, but one far different from the one that Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) pursued all those years,” Carter said.

While they’re all energized for the new season, the show’s creative team feels a little disappointed that the series spinoff, “The Lone Gunmen,” didn’t come back. On the bright side, though, it is a break from recent years when they had to split their time between “X-Files” and another show. First it was “Millennium,” then the short-lived “Harsh Realm” and, earlier this year, “Gunmen.”

“Now that we’re just doing ‘The X-Files’ again, it feels like a luxury to be able to concentrate solely on one series, and it’s a pleasure to focus exclusively,” Spotnitz said.

This fall, the Lone Gunmen trio will be back on “X-Files,” as will goofy humor. “Last year we were establishing Robert (Patrick)’s character, so we didn’t do any lighthearted episodes like we’ve been known to do over the previous seven years of the show,” Carter said. “This year, I think you will see a number of those.”

Of the three leads this season _ Anderson, Patrick and Gish _ only Anderson is an original cast member, and she has said she will leave at the end of the season.

Carter and Spotnitz believe they “still (have) plenty of stories left to tell,” even without the original leads.

“I never imagined telling these stories without David to a point, and now I have to imagine telling them without Gillian, but I think that it’s possible,” Carter said.

Rebuilding the show around new central characters could give the long-running series a new lease on life, Spotnitz said. “Strictly creatively, we all feel like (the show) has new life and could go on indefinitely,” he said.

But Carter is not that certain about his future on the show.

“This has already been a decade of my life because it took a year to take (‘X-Files’) off the ground,” Carter said. “You have to think about how you want to spend your creative energy.”

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One Response to “The Hollywood Reporter: TV Talk”

  1. […] According to interviews with Chris Carter just before the launch of the ninth season, the idea of getting away from comedy was never intended as a permanent creative decision. He warned the audience: […]