'The X-Files': Do these good ratings mean more episodes?

The first two episodes of the new version of 'The X-Files' have gotten impressive ratings. While other TV 'reboots' like 'Heroes Reborn' have struggled, 'X-Files' is off to a good start so far.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/File
Actors David Duchovny, from left, Gillian Anderson and creator/executive producer Chris Carter participate in 'The X Files' panel at the Fox Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 15, 2016.

There are a lot of TV viewers out there who wanted to see more of Mulder and Scully.

Ratings for both the Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 episodes of the revived series “The X-Files” are so far impressive following the series’ debut on Jan. 24.

For the premiere, the episode was preceded on Fox by the NFC Championship football game, which could have helped with ratings – the premiere brought in more than 13 million total viewers. But “X-Files” got its great ratings last night all on its own: the second episode of “X-Files” brought in 9.6 million total viewers.

Monday nights will be the show’s regular timeslot during its run, so fans will have to wait until next week for the next installment.

While the ratings for the “X-Files” premiere were no doubt inflated by the football preceding it, drawing more than 13 million viewers is still impressive. In the ratings for the 2014-2015 TV season, the only shows that achieved an average of those numbers in total viewers were hits like CBS’s “Blue Bloods” and NBC’s “The Blacklist.” 

Does this mean we’ll see more of the show than the planned six episodes? There were supposed to be eight originally.

“I'm waiting for Fox to come back and say, ‘We want more of these,'” creator Chris Carter said during the recent Television Critics Association Winter Press tour

However, Carter said that a spin-off is not in the works.

“X-Files” was brought back at a time when TV “reboots” seem to be everywhere.

The continuation of a TV show has seemed to take different forms as time has gone on. Decades ago, spin-offs were one way of continuing a TV show’s story – several were made from the 1970s TV show “All in the Family,” including “Maude” and “The Jeffersons.” 

Another form of entertainment that has enjoyed popularity is adapting a movie from a TV show. This could be with the original cast, as when the “Sex and the City” films were created, or with new stars, as when the 1980s TV show “The A-Team” was adapted as a movie starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, and Sharlto Copley. 

This is still going on, of course, with TV shows that were recently brought to film including the “Mission: Impossible” movie series, “21 Jump Street,” and “Get Smart.”

And there have been TV remakes before now, as with CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O,” and the CW’s “Melrose Place.” The 1990s “Star Trek” series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was more of a reboot.

Now a spate of TV reboots are appearing on the scene almost at the same time. These programs are continuations of the originals, not just rehashings of the original story. NBC revived its mid-2000s superhero show “Heroes” for several episodes this past fall, while Netflix is producing a new version of the 1990s sitcom “Full House” centering on one of the daughters on the program. “Twin Peaks” is returning on Showtime. A new version of the 1990s TV show “Coach” was planned at NBC but is now canceled.

Why did “X-Files” work? 

For one, the original TV show is one of the most popular and acclaimed of all time. For the fifth season premiere, 27 million viewers tuned in, a number that’s hard to imagine in today’s spread-out TV landscape. 

And the fan base apparently is still passionate, despite a poorly received 2008 movie and a series finale that drew mixed reviews. A panel was held at Comic-Con in 2013 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the show’s debut and Carter said he was fairly taken aback by the people present.

“That the show would resonate with them when there’s so much else out there, that it would have a life beyond its original life, I have to say I find it incredible,” he said in an interview with The New York Times

And the plots of the original show, rife as they are with conspiracies and strange phenomena, may resonate with current audiences. 

“Conspiracy has gone mainstream,” Carter told Reuters in an interview.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of 5 free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.