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The X-Files Effect?

Research Suggests We Shouldn’t Worry so Much over the Hit TV Series

Matthew Nisbet is associate professor of communication at Northeastern University and a Committee for Skeptical Inquiry scientific consultant. from 1997 and 1999, he was public relations director for CSI.

The X-Files returns January 24 to Fox Television in a special six-episode revival of the popular series. Actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, investigating a collection of paranormal cases designated “X” for “unexplained.”

Premiering in 1993, The X-Files ran for eight seasons, averaging nearly twenty million viewers at the height of its popularity. The series ended in 2001 but was followed by two X-Files movies that grossed a combined $260 million worldwide. Over the years, the X-Files fan base has multiplied, spread by way of syndication on cable TV, video and DVD editions, streaming on Netflix, and spin-off comic books and video games.

Not surprisingly, there is intense anticipation for the re-launch. There are even rumors of a possible new TV series featuring a younger generation of characters and a third movie.

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