Debuting eight years after Agents Mulder and Scully were last in the field, The X-Files revival series confirmed for new and old fans alike that there are still truths to be found, monsters to track down, and opportunities for mildly inappropriate workplace flirting. It feels like the series just came back into my life, but Monday night marks The X-Files finale. Too soon! Even before the lights of Mulder and Scully's basement office were flipped back on and a shiny, new "I Want To Believe" poster pinned in place, we X-Philes have been speculating about the show's future. Would this six-episode revival be a one-time treat? Or would it be a successful test of the waters leading into a full-fledged series reboot? Fox Mulder wants all the answers, but I'm just interested in one: Will The X-Files return for another season?
The prognosis is good, though the future of the show hasn't been written in stone. The relevant parties are open to keeping The X-Files open, including creator and showrunner Chris Carter, who told TV Guide of continuing the series, "If I'm given the opportunity, time and money and place to do it, of course I'd be interested." In an interview with Variety, Fox Entertainment president David Madden gave audiences a significant reason to feel optimistic about sending the agents on more cases. “We haven’t talked to the talent yet about Season 2 in any more definitive way than we had prior to airing the show," Madden said, "but certainly, it seems like there’s an audience responding to the show that would love to see more episodes.”
The audience response he's referring to are the revival's monster ratings and the proof that there's still plenty of life left in the '90s network genre staple. Variety reported that The X-Files revival premiere averaged 20.3 million viewers in the three-day monitored period, including live tune-ins and DVR/OnDemand/etc. playback. Subsequent episodes failed to reach the high of the show's eagerly anticipated return, but have still steadily delivered.
With the short series pin-balling between mythology, heavy character work, and goofy creature comedy, fan and critical response has been mixed. My own opinion changes drastically from episode to episode. ("Mulder & Scully Meet The Were-Monster"? Heaven. "Babylon"? No. Just a no.) But the ratings suggest that many viewers share my outlook when it comes to The X-Files: as long as it's on, we'll be watching.
With the showrunner and the network both on-board in theory, that leaves stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson to weigh in. Fortunately, both actors have been vocal about their willingness to keep on exploring their characters past this limited series, though they are also committed to other ongoing projects. It's the length of a nontraditional season that makes it possible to wrangle everyone, Duchovny told Variety. "I would never have gone and done another 22 episodes of X-Files," he said. "Six to me sounds very doable at any walk of my life."
I want to believe that Season 11 of The X-Files will be formally announced soon. But it doesn't matter if it takes a year or so to get Mulder and Scully back together — the audience will be here.
Image: Ed Araquel/FOX