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Variety: 'X-Files' creator signs major deal with Fox TV

‘X-Files’ creator signs major deal with Fox TV
Jenny Hontz

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – “The X-Files”‘ creator Chris Carter has signed a production deal with 20th Century Fox TV, which sources said was worth $25-$30 million over five years.

The exclusive pact includes a first-look feature component and calls for him to develop at least one new series for Fox Broadcasting Co. next fall. He will remain as executive producer of “The X-Files” for at least two more seasons and “Millennium” for at least one more, while he develops new projects for Fox under his Ten Thirteen Prods. banner.

In valuing the deal, sources said it was about on par with the deal Warner Bros. TV made recently for “ER” executive producer John Wells. When the film and TV components and “The X-Files” profit advances are factored in, sources say Carter could take home more than $100 million. Neither 20th nor Carter would comment on terms of the deal.

Carter’s next series for fall 1999 is likely to be a sci-fi drama based on a comic book called “Harsh Realm,” which Carter is expected to write and Dan Sackheim (“The X-Files”) will direct, Carter said.

Fox would actually like Carter to develop a second new drama for next fall, if he has the time, but Carter called that “wishful thinking.”‘

“There are other things I want to do,” he told Daily Variety. “But it’s really about the workload and not forsaking the shows that are already dear to me.”

Carter’s feature deal with 20th Century Fox makes a reality Fox’s desire to turn “The X-Files” into a feature film franchise, much like “Star Trek” is for Paramount. This summer’s “X-Files” feature has earned nearly $150 million in worldwide grosses, and sources say “The X-Files” stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have already agreed to star in the next feature, intended for a 2000 release.

Carter joined 20th Century Fox in 1992, and his deal resulted in one of the company’s most-profitable franchises and earned him multiple Emmy nominations for his writing and directing on “The X-Files.” As it enters its fifth season, “The X-Files” is still Fox’s highest-rated series, and its value to News Corp. is estimated more than $1 billion.

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