Fox Entertainment president David Madden told reporters Wednesday that he had hoped to have an “X-Files” announcement to announce on Wednesday.
But alas, as Fox TV Group chairman/CEO Gary Newman told IndieWire later, a deal with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, as well as executive producer Chris Carter, continues to be a logistic challenge for the network and sister studio 20th Century Fox TV.
As a result, Newman said he doesn’t expect the show to return during the upcoming 2017-18 TV season.
“My expectation is we will not have something next season,” he said. “It could be Fall 2018 or [Winter] 2019. It isn’t impossible that it couldn’t turn around and happen next year, but the clock is getting pretty tight. There’s no negativity, there’s no issues, I think they’d all like to do it. But it isn’t an easy decision for them. We remain as supportive as we can be trying to help them make it work. But right now it doesn’t feel like, ‘oh shoot, we missed by a couple of days with an announcement.'”
It’s not for lack of trying, Newman said.
“It’s just very difficult,” Newman said. “Their lives don’t lend themselves easily to finding time to do this. Gillian lives in London, she has young children. Coming to Vancouver for three or four months is not easy for her, particularly when she has other work commitments. David can be available, and then something big can come along for him. So it’s not easy to find time. We would love to do it again, and I believe there will be a time when it happens, but it does not feel imminent to me.”
Earlier, Madden struck a more optimistic tone. He said he was “feeling good… we feel like there’s progress being made” on finalizing deals with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, as well as executive producer Chris Carter, to bring the show back again. An announcement could come “shortly.”
Madden did have one little morsel to share: Fox is indeed pushing hard for the next edition of “The X-Files” to be more than just six episodes. “It won’t be 22, but we are hoping for more than six,” he said. “That is our goal.”
Fox has been teasing another return of “The X-Files” for a year, since last year’s revival posted huge ratings (although, admittedly, mixed reviews).
Meanwhile, Madden and Fox Television Group chairman/CEO Gary Newman kicked off their meeting with reporters by touting a deal with Oscar winner Jamie Foxx to host the new game show “Beat Shazam” this summer.
Fox hopes to make “Beat Shazam,” which comes from executive producer Mark Burnett, the center piece of a summer strategy that will be heavy on unscripted series. (Scripted thriller “Wayward Pines,” which has aired the past two summers, won’t return for now, but hasn’t yet been officially canceled.)
Foxx joins celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Steve Harvey, Jane Lynch and Anthony Anderson in joining the game show ranks, which has become a cool Hollywood gig.
“It was a long process” in getting Foxx on board, Madden said. “Mark Burnett led the charge there. Mark is a force of nature, and when he wants to get someone on a show he’s very convincing. [Foxx] loved the idea, he just has a very complicated schedule. That was a large part of the process of working out the situation. But he got excited and sat with mark a number of times.”
Madden worked with the star on the film “Redemption,” in which Foxx played former Crips leader Tookie Williams. “I sat on the set with him, and its this very intense drama, and in between takes he would do impressions of people singing. He would do Michael Jackson. He loves performing, loves singing, and I think he saw this as an opportunity where he could be funny, he could deal with music, he could have a great time.”
Also at the Fox portion of press tour, Fox picked up a fourth season of “Empire,” which will produce another 18 episodes next year.
The fate of “Pitch” doesn’t look good, but the network hasn’t thrown in the towel yet: “It’s very much on our minds,” Newman said. “I dont think the perfomance level allowed us to make an early decision. Do we have a place on our schedule where we can grow it?”
Also, Andy Cohen is set to host Fox’s revival of the dating series “Love Connection,” which will now be produced by Mike Fleiss (“The Bachelor”).