Even before Fox officially announced the latest return of one-time flagship series “The X-Files,” we were wondering how Season 11 might be different from the season that came before: How many episodes? How many would be written and directed by Chris Carter? How many new writers would come on board?
We now know that the next season will consist of 10 episodes, and that production theoretically begins this summer for the 2017-2018 season. But beyond that, there are still plenty of mysteries left unsolved — especially given that showrunner Chris Carter has a questionable track record with the series when he takes a more hands-on approach creatively (after all, he was the one behind the ending of last season).
While it was hinted last year that Carter was pushing for more seasons, this news is a game changer in how people view revivals: The ever-rising trend could mean that the return of shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “Prison Break” could become less of a nostalgia trip and more of a test to see if there’s any opportunity for continued viewership. Though, on a more pessimistic note, what kind of legacy does a show leave when it gets turned into a franchise that milks its audience for all their worth? For all we know, this extension of “The X-Files” could be a lot more negative for the franchise-focused ideal, with casts becoming more tentative about joining revivals.
Season 10 of “The X-Files” managed to let down its fervent and loyal fanbase with that questionable finale, but pessimism aside, it’s still fun to be excited about a new season of “The X-Files” again. Listen to IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers debate the issue in this week’s Very Good TV Podcast (above). Don’t forget to subscribe via Soundcloud or iTunes, and follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news. Check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to IndieWire’s other podcasts: Screen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Michael Schneider’s new podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV of each week.