''The X-Files'' gets competition | EW.com

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''The X-Files'' gets competition

ABC's ''Alias'' is giving the sci-fi show a run for their time slot

Robert Patrick, Gillian Anderson, ...

(Timothy White)

The truth may be out there, but many fans of ”The X-Files” aren’t waiting around to hear it: The Fox drama is down a surprising 29 percent in viewers after only five airings, and has already lost the time slot three times to ABC’s ”Alias.” While X-Philes complain that the sci-fi series has lost its intrigue (”It’s like the writers no longer care about producing a quality product,” laments one online fan), exec producer Frank Spotnitz disagrees, saying the writers are currently toiling to establish Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). ”To place two new characters at the center of a nine-year-old show has never been tried before,” he says. ”But some people feel disloyal to Mulder and Scully if they’re asked to embrace new characters.” Which is why Spotnitz and Co. plan to revisit the old ones beginning Jan. 6. Look for some answers to Mulder’s whereabouts, and in February expect a better explanation of his absentee relationship with Gillian Anderson’s Scully (we’ll find out who’s after her baby, too). Unfortunately, your chances of solving the long-running conspiracy are far greater than seeing David Duchovny return. Says Spotnitz: ”I wouldn’t expect to see him on the show again, but that doesn’t mean Mulder won’t continue.” Of course, that doesn’t mean fans will continue watching, either.