X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

TV Guide Online: Gunmen's Last Shot?

TV Guide Online
Gunmen’s Last Shot?
Michael Ausiello

If you have yet to sample Fox’s quirky X-Files spinoff, The Lone Gunmen, tonight’s finale may be your last shot. After a strong start in March, Gunmen’s three conspiracy-obsessed computer geeks have watched their viewership disappear faster than data on an “I Love You” virus-infected hard drive. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Last week’s episode retained a best-yet 86 percent of its adults 18-49 lead-in from Police Videos (granted, a small victory, but a victory nonetheless), and in a recent USA Today poll, Gunmen ranked second only to the WB’s Roswell as the struggling series viewers most want to see return next fall. Still, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the show needs to flex some ratings muscle tonight. But short of hacking into Nielsen’s mainframe, what is series creator Chris Carter to do? Well, a little stunt casting couldn’t hurt, that’s for sure.

TVGO: The USA Today survey caught some people by surprise. No one knew Gunmen had such a loyal following. The ratings are certainly pretty stinky.

Carter: Actually, the ratings are respectable. For Friday night at 9, they are good ratings for Fox. Everything is relative in the ratings game because Friday night is a very small night. So, we’re actually heartened by what we have done in the ratings, but a show like this takes some time to find an audience. But I know that there is a vocal audience out there because they weigh in every day and every week on the Internet.

TVGO: Would you say the show has met your expectations ratings-wise?

Carter: Well, of course you want to always perform better than expectations. Right now I think we’re performing to expectations. So I think if we can start to build on what we’ve done – certainly through the sweeps period – then the chances for the show coming back will be great.

TVGO: If the show continues to perform at the level it has been, and Fox cancels it, will you be angry? Is this going to be another Harsh Realm? [Carter was miffed when Fox pulled the plug on his last TV venture after only a handful of episodes.]

Carter: Well, it already isn’t. That Harsh Realm situation was so peculiar and such an anomaly; it really was driven by someone’s gross inexperience. Luckily, now there are experienced people [at Fox] and we are getting our full run of Lone Gunmen episodes, so there really is no comparison. [But] it’s not my nature to be content, or contented, and so my feeling is that there are always other ways and other things you can do to promote a show.

TVGO: Speaking of which, I understand David Duchovny will appear in [tonight’s] season finale. Why is it such a big secret? This is just the ratings-grabbing stunt the show needs right now.

Carter: Where did you get that information?

TVGO: Um… reliable sources.

Carter: Well, I can’t comment on it, of course. On either the question or the pure fact.

TVGO: Well, let’s throw out a hypothetical: If David Duchovny were to drop in, wouldn’t you want to promote the heck out of it?

Carter: I will promote the show in any way I possibly can. I do what I can under the limitations that I am given, and that’s the way I always proceed.

TVGO: Hmmm… so David agreed to do it under the condition that it not be promoted. I get it now.

Carter: I think that is a rather complex hypothetical. Anything is possible, as I always say about The X-Files. I would say the same thing with The Lone Gunmen.

TVGO: Well, let me ask you this: Will there be any big surprises [tonight]?

Chris: Definitely.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.