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'The X-Files' Creator May Opt to Stay On

TV: Executive producer Chris Carter says that he is close to signing on for two more seasons as the series prepares to move to L.A.

June 10, 1998|GREG BRAXTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chris Carter, creator and executive producer of "The X-Files," is close to putting his "X" on the dotted line to return to the eerie drama for two more seasons.

Carter had said a year ago that he might not return after the Fox drama's fifth season, which just ended. He said he wanted to finish "The X-Files" movie and help with the series' transition from Vancouver, its home base for five seasons, to Los Angeles, before making a final decision.

He said Wednesday he is close to signing a deal with 20th Century Fox Television, which produces "The X-Files" series, to continue producing it and his other drama, Fox's "Millennium," as well as other series and movies. "We're still negotiating, but all indicators are positive," Carter said.

Although Carter was long undecided about his plans after the fifth season and the completion of the film, "I weighed all my options and this seemed like the right, sound one," he said.

He also addressed the concerns of "X-Files" fans that the change in location from rainy and versatile Vancouver, which stood in for several cities in the United States and abroad, to sunny California would have a drastic effect on the show's dark mood.

"People have this assumption that you can't make a scary show in Los Angeles, that Vancouver is the only place to make a scary show," he said. "But we will continue to write scary stories and film them in a scary way. If we don't have the atmosphere, we'll make the atmosphere."

He noted that the film was shot in and around Los Angeles, "so it's a nice introduction to that process."

Carter said that the change in locale would actually provide for more story opportunities: "The truth is that there were certain places and environments we couldn't shoot in Vancouver, particularly the Southwestern states. Since 'The X-Files' is a traveling show, this will give us an opportunity to set episodes in places we couldn't do before."

The drama's home base will be Fox Studios in Century City. The production had considered setting up shop in Santa Clarita, which is in northern Los Angeles County, but that idea was nixed.

"We felt it would take longer to get to Santa Clarita than it would to get to Vancouver," Carter quipped.

No other dramatic changes are planned for the show, but Mimi Rogers and Darren McGavin have been signed to reprise their guest star roles for several episodes this season. Rogers appeared in the season finale as an FBI agent who is an old flame of Agent Fox Mulder, while McGavin portrayed a former FBI agent who provides Mulder with information about his father's connection to the McCarthy hearings.

Carter said that in addition to overseeing "The X-Files," he will take a greater role this season in producing "Millennium," a series about an investigator who can tap into the criminal mind, which is going into its third season.

He said the dark-toned drama "was originally designed without a so-called franchise [an ongoing back story, or mythology, to provide a base for new episodes and offshoots]. That was by design. But this season, we're going to be using the stories that came out of the first two seasons, and giving the series a franchise it previously lacked."

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