We know that for many, the fate and the future of “The X-Files” on Fox is almost more important than pretty much any other information from the network’s presentation at the TCA Winter Press Tour on Wednesday; unfortunately, there was not all that much in the way of new information shared today.
Basically, here’s what we know now courtesy of network executives Gary Newman and David Madden: There are discussions happening and for us, as long as the discussions are still happening then there’s still hope. Obviously, this is a deal that the network wants to get done, but at the same time, there is a recognition that getting this to work is not going to be an easy thing for all of the the parties involved. Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have complicated schedules in between theater, movies, and other shows. For the network, they also have to decide on the right number of episodes, the right time in which to air it and if they have solid stories to tell. This is an iconic show and the last thing Fox wants to do is rush out another season if it’s not A+ quality story telling.
If we had to issue a guess right now, we would say that come May, Fox announces a ten-episode season 11, which will air within the months of January through March next year. It could be a schedule replacement for “Gotham” or “Lucifer,” with those shows airing in the fall and the spring. We get the sense that the cast and crew would like to do more than the six episodes that they did during the tenth season, but not so many episodes that it feels like it did during the old days when everyone was exhausted. Given that Duchovny and Anderson are far and away the stars of the show, they carry the bulk of the screen time and doing that for 22-24 episodes a season can be difficult. For us we have sound that series that run 10 – 12 episode tend to have tighter story telling, where as series that run 24 episode tend to have a lot of filler that viewers pass over for the bigger ones.
Really, the network does not necessarily have to wait until we roll around to May in order for some of these announcements to be made. It’s easy to get viewers excited on the idea of a another season at an upfront, and then the network can then promote it through the summer into the fall. Look at Sherlock for a good example of that. They have announced seasons a year in advance and fans flock to this show whether it’s just for a Christmas special or the three episode seasons we get every few years. The long game at advertising with a show like “The X-Files” could be very lucrative.