Fox hasn’t launched a hit drama since 1997’s ”Ally McBeal,” which is why it’s now racing to persuade key players in aging series like ”Beverly Hills, 90210,” ”Party of Five,” and ”The X-Files” to re-up for next season. As for ”The X-Files,” Gillian Anderson is a go (her contract is through 2001), but, for now, creator Chris Carter won’t proceed without David Duchovny, whose deal is up in May.
It’ll come down to money: Duchovny makes about $200,000 an episode, whereas the leads on, say, ”ER” make over $400,000. Duchovny will also likely seek a resolution to his lawsuit (he alleges that Twentieth Century Fox TV cheated him out of syndication profits).
Fox TV chairman ”Sandy Grushow will knock himself out to save ‘X-Files,”’ says United Talent Agency’s Jay Sures. ”Losing this show is the loss of a brand, of promoting other shows, and of critical ratings.”