LA Screenings: Fox Braces For Bidding War Over ‘The X-Files’ Revival

With the LA Screenings drawing to a close, a lot of attention is being paid to the “hottest” titles to emerge after the marathon event. But one title, which was not screened, is drawing just as much attention as The Muppets, The Player and the plethora of medical dramas on offer. That one title is Fox’s six episode X-Files revival.

Ever since news broke (and was subsequently confirmed) that the iconic series would be returning for a new run with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their roles as FBI Special Agents Mulder and Scully, international buyers have been all but lining up to license the revival for their home markets.

20th Century Fox Television DistributionDistributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution is expecting “high volume” on The X-Files. With a pre-sold concept, there is little doubt that the six episode series will be one of the hottest titles on the international market for the next several months.

And even with nothing to screen, UK buyers are already circling, with the studio bracing for a bidding war for the six episode event series. TVWise understands that no less than five UK buyers have expressed interest in acquiring The X-Files. “The wheel is slowly turning”, a senior Fox distribution exec told TVWise.

This could be a mammoth deal, with Fox execs suggesting that any licensing agreement would include rights to screen the previous nine seasons and both feature films, in addition to the six new episodes. A+E Networks UK, who presently hold the UK broadcast rights to the initial nine seasons, are not considered a likely home.

The X-FilesLike 24: Live Another Day before it, it’s worth looking to The X-Files historic home in the UK to get a glimpse of where it may eventually land. Back in the day Mulder and Scully’s cases were initially screened on Sky1 before airing on the BBC nine months later. The BBC, who briefly kicked around the idea of swooping for these new episodes, have all but ruled themselves out, making Sky the logical home for The X-Files.

But with so many new platforms and broadcasters in the mix these days, it’s certainly not a fait accompli. Other interested parties include Fox UK, Channel 5 and Universal Networks International. Netflix UK is understood the be firmly in the mix on this one as well, with such a “wide-ranging” deal said to “fit our brand”.

Regardless, as had been widely expected, The X-Files will be a big money maker for Fox internationally and will be one of several new shows UK buyers aggressively pursue (several other bidding wars are heating up) as competition in this already crowded market continues to grow.