While there are no firm plans at this time for a second round of episodes, with the ratings proof, Fox execs are undoubtedly discussing the possibility of ordering more episodes. Plus, the network has been promoting Monday’s finale as the “season finale” — not the “series finale.”
“We said before it aired that we would love to do more, and we are over the moon with the performance. So far, the response has been really encouraging,” Fox entertainment president David Madden tells Variety, speaking in an interview conducted earlier in “The X-Files” season.
He adds, “We haven’t talked to the talent yet about Season 2 in any more definitive way than we had prior to airing the show, but certainly, it seems like there’s an audience responding to the show that would love to see more episodes.”
The performance certainly has been impressive. More than 50 million international viewers watched the two-night premiere in the first three days following its debut on Fox channels in 80 countries, and “X-Files” has held strong since its season opener. Though it fell off this week opposite the Grammy Awards, the show has been strong in its return, averaging a 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 9.9 million total viewers in same-day averages through five episodes. The series has been a nice gainer in delayed viewing, too, with its Feb. 8 episode ranking No. 2 in 18-49 among all dramas for the week, ahead of ABC’s TGIT drama premieres and behind only AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” in “live plus-3” estimates from Nielsen. And, Fox has got to be pleased with its big online numbers via Fox Now and Hulu.
Insiders tell Variety there are no official conversations under way regarding the future of the franchise, but Fox would love to make more “X-Files” happen, if they can — the main hurdle would be getting the schedules of Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny to align, given their other commitments.
When asked about the possibility of a second rebooted season last month at the Television Critics Association press tour, Fox bosses Dana Walden and Gary Newman also touched on the talent subject, saying, “The biggest impediment to going forward with ‘The X-Files’ is the schedule of David and Gillian and, to an extent, Chris…but even the other night at the premiere, we were all laughing and joking that we would love to do this again. So we would be on board if schedules can be worked out.”
Long before the six revival episodes aired, Duchovny talked to Variety about the possibility of returning for more episodes.
“I would never have gone and done another 22 episodes of ‘X-Files,’” Duchovny said, “but we’re going to do six — well, that’s like doing a movie. That’s like continuing the show in a way that we all can do at this point in our lives so that’s how it all came about … Six to me sounds very doable at any walk of my life. It’s not a great hardship in terms of time. I would hope it will be successful, I would hope we could continue, but right now, I’m just looking at it as these six, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Probably not to Duchovny’s surprise, the series has indeed been successful, and the potential for a follow-up is clearly there, especially with Fox’s track record of bringing back hits like “24,” which was revived in 2014 for a 12-episode limited series, and will likely come back yet again with a reimagined pilot greenlit.
And while the return of “X-Files” has been underwhelming to some critics, the fans aren’t complaining — and the numbers don’t lie.