‘Aquarius’ Canceled: What It Could Mean For The Future Of ‘The X-Files’

While we all know what happened to the real life Charles Manson, his fate on the mostly fictionalized version of his life Aquarius will forever be a mystery. According to Variety, NBC has officially canceled Aquarius after two seasons. The show, which stars David Duchovny as the fictional Detective Sam Hodiak, is set in 1967 Los Angeles and focuses on Duchovny’s character investigating what will eventually become the infamous Manson Family murders.

While Aquarius is based on real events, it weaves fact and fiction together with invented characters and events. John McNamara, the show’s creator, has dubbed the show “historical fiction.” Hampered by middling reviews and low ratings (though, to be fair, the show does seem to have a dedicated fan base based on its IMDB score of 7.1), Aquarius never really connected to a wide audience of television viewers.

Fox’s reboot/continuation of The X-Files, on the other hand, enjoyed huge ratings for the network. Touted as a six episode event series, Season 10 of The X-Files created more questions than it answered (which is certainly nothing new for the show, which originally concluded in 2002, leaving fans without definitive answers to some of the biggest mysteries) and ended on what a lot of critics called a frustrating cliffhanger.

Still, the ratings success is what matters to Fox and rumors have been circulating ever since the finale of the possibility of Season 11. Now that Aquarius has been axed by NBC — effectively freeing up a lot of Duchovny’s work schedule — it would be easy to assume that we’ll be seeing Season 11 sooner than expected. That assumption wouldn’t exactly be correct, however.

Gillian Anderson, who plays FBI agent Dana Scully alongside Duchovny’s Fox Mulder, is not as readily available as her co-star. Currently, the actress is involved with the British crime show The Fall as well as Bryan Fuller’s television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel American Gods over on Starz. She’s also linked to a couple of feature films as well as the narrator for a documentary. There a lot of fans also hoping for an eventual continuation of the critically acclaimed Hannibal television show. Simply put, Anderson is as busy as ever, and it could very well mean a longer wait for more The X-Files.

There’s also the reported history of Duchovny not enjoying the long, arduous scheduling of filming the show, especially during its years spent in Vancouver. Although later seasons of the show moved production to Los Angeles to accommodate Duchovny (who lives in Los Angeles, where Aquarius was conveniently filmed), Season 10 of The X-Files saw a return to its Vancouver roots (most fans agree that the creepiest episodes were filmed there). This arguably heavily contributed to the season’s short episode count (in addition to Anderson’s busy schedule), and also goes a long way to explain why Duchovny seemed to prefer working on Aquarius (which had much longer seasons).

Fox itself has been hinting at Season 11 while simultaneously defending Season 10, noting the show’s long absence from television and short run time. Dana Walden, the co-CEO of Fox Television Group, believes that the show can only improve, and there are ways that she believes it can be accomplished. The release date of Season 11 of The X-Files may still be unknown at this time, but there’s strong evidence to support that it will be longer than Season 10 by at least four episodes but probably no more than twelve total episodes.


Are you excited for another go at The X-Files, or is it time for the truth to be covered up for good? Will you miss Duchovny’s Aquarius or are you currently scratching your head in confusion as to how anyone could prefer it over more Fox Mulder conspiracy theories? Let us know below!

[Featured Image by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP Images]