It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where FOX’s X-Files revival went wrong, but the emphasis on stand-alone episodes over lingering mythology certainly surprised viewers. It’s even harder to say what lessons were learned, as the expanded eleventh season will apparently have even less focus on overall story.

Among the new details revealed from FOX’s Tuesday presence at the TCA press tour panel, the ten-episode return was surprisingly confirmed to follow a similar format of stand-alone episodes book-ended by only two hours devoted to X-Files mythology. It was thought that expanding the episode order from six to ten would allow the more balanced approach that fans were familiar with, but FOX boss David Madden says the Season 10 cliffhanger will form more of a background story for new adventures (via EW):

We start the season right up from where the season finale left off with that big helicopter and takes you right from there. You’ll be launched into a very urgent adventure that has a lot to do with William — Mulder and Scully’s kid. So the search for William will be a significant thread through the show. You will see the Cigarette Smoking Man [William B. Davis]. You may see The Lone Gunmen somewhere along the line. There will be other characters from the previous mythology that will be reprised.

Also worth noting from the panel, BuzzFeed confirms that Season 11 has hired three women among the writing staff (as opposed to the two mentioned by FOX boss Dana Walden); Karen Nielson, Kristen Cloke and Shannon Hamblin. Two of the episodes will be directed by women (as many directed during the entire series), while Walden also notes “half of our directors are diverse.”

Set for a midseason premiere, the next X-Files run will see Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny aboard for the full ten episodes, joined by returning veterans Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner and Annabeth Gish as Monica Reyes. Series creator Chris Carter will lead a writing team of former producers Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan and James Wong; now joined by Season 9 writers assistant Gabe Rotter, Season 10 assistant Benjamin Van Allen and Carter’s own assistant Brad Follmer.

We’ll likely hear more as production continues over the next few months, so stay tuned for the latest on The X-Files Season 11.

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