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Long Island Newsday: Glued to the tube 'X-Files': It's Still Out There But its creator eyes Fox's backing of 'Lone Gunmen'

Long Island Newsday
Glued to the tube
‘X-Files’: It’s Still Out There But its creator eyes Fox’s backing of ‘Lone Gunmen’
Diane Werts

HOLLYWOOD – IT WAS 1930s Hollywood mogul Harry Cohn who said, “If you want to send a message, call Western Union.” Today, the showbiz heavy hitters just call the TV critics.

Actually, they don’t have to call. We’re already here, twice a year, at the two-week press tours in which the country’s tube writers meet with network executives, producers and stars to preview their fall or midseason offerings.

Mostly they come to our convention hotel in a parade of ballroom news conferences. But sometimes we head to their home studios to chat on-set, where they feel more comfortable.

And so they get personal. “The X- Files” creator Chris Carter did his press duty on a 20th Century Fox soundstage below a hanging alien ship contraption that looked like some “Star Trek” Borg assimilation of an arena scoreboard.

Carter clarified that David Duchovny’s MIA Mulder character “will come back into play in Episode 14 this year [the Feb. 25 cliffhanger before a five-week hiatus] and be very important to the rest of the season.” Simultaneously, the show will explore Robert Patrick’s new Doggett character. “We’ll realize why he is the way he is and how he may have changed, in Episode 14.” Annabeth Gish is joining the cast to avoid a Mulder-Scully-Doggett triangle, and Scully’s pregnancy will be “played out by the end of the season,” Carter says, choosing his words carefully.

He gets less circumspect regarding negotiations for another season of his eighth-year show, revealing much in one-on-one conversation about his relationship with the Fox network, which debuts his spinoff series, “The Lone Gunmen,” March 4 to keep the “X-Files” Sunday slot hot.

“I’m open to it,” he says of more “Files,” but “I really am interested in seeing their promotion and support for ‘Lone Gunmen.’ I want to make sure that they are supporting us completely and not just partially, that it’s not just for the perpetuation of ‘X-Files,’ that they’re going to support it as the good show it is.” His recent series “Harsh Realm” got “no promotion,” he states, and “it was a shock to me.” Got the message, Fox? “I hope that the talks can be done a lot sooner than they were last year, which was like right down to the wire,” Carter says, “and that we would know [early] so I could have more time to spend with the [season’s] final episode.” Carter partner Frank Spotnitz says May’s last outing, in any event, “will be the finale for eight seasons of “The X-Files,” as Duchovny’s part-time contract runs out. Nevertheless, the show’s fate remains uncertain.

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