The X-Files

With over 202 episodes, Fox's hit science-fiction drama series The X-Files proved to viewers that the truth really was out there. For nine seasons, special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) were responsible for solving the Federal Bureau of Investigation's X-Files: unsolved cases involving a supernatural or paranormal phenomenon. While Mulder believed in the existence of aliens, his partner was skeptical and aimed to ground his theories in reality. Over time, the duo discovered a host of conspiracies, cover-ups, and alien interference, and the show is one of the longest-running science fiction series in network TV history. The critical response to The X-Files was generally positive, with British newspaper The Independent praising the show as "one of the greatest cult shows in modern television". 

Creator Chris Carter reportedly got his idea for the show after reading a Harvard Medical School professor's analysis of a Roper Poll. The survey results indicated that aliens might have abducted at least 3.7 million Americans, which he felt was a compelling idea for a television series. Fox executives rejected Carter's initial pitch. However, they commissioned the pilot a few weeks later after he expanded the plot and the central themes of the show. The show was filmed in Vancouver for the first five seasons but later moved to Los Angeles to accommodate Duchovny's schedule. 

The X-Files found an initial cult following and was later embraced by both general audiences as well as conspiracy theorists. It won three Golden Globes Awards for best drama. After the original show ran for nine seasons, it was renewed twice in 2016 and 2018. The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks heavily influenced the tone of The X-Files. Two feature films, The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), continued the television show's mythology in a longer format.

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