Back then, writing fanfiction was a real risk, and frowned upon by the networks. And now, it seems it’s really encouraged. Over the last couple years I’ve talked to a ton of TV writers, people who write amazing scripts for major shows. These days, the writers I ask about it really appreciate it as a compliment to their characters and their own work.
Absolutely, and that was a huge learning curve too for the executives, because I remember even when you could show video for the first time, when the bandwidth increased and you could show video on your website, all the fans used to put The X-Files up there, and they would get a note from Fox saying that’s licensed stuff; take it down. And then I would get e-mails saying, hey we’re fans of the show, we’re promoting the show, we want this on our website, why can’t we do it? And I had to then get up on the legalities of copyright law, and be in the position of defending Fox.
And that too has changed, because now they have, you know, embeds, so the studio will release something and you can just embed it and everyone’s happy.
Yes, I think that was the thing. Before embedding, they felt like it was just being released in the wild. Now with embeds and all the tracking stuff, you can still get all the metrics back so that you know exactly how it’s being used and where, and still use that to sell advertising, I think was the biggest issue.
So I have to confess, I think I stopped watching The X-Files after season seven.
Right, when Mulder left.
When Mulder left, yeah. The show changed when it came to L.A., a little bit.
It sure did.
And it wasn’t just the move to L.A., I think the whole show just sort of changed, and I’m not sure if I could put my finger on why, but it just...
I know Chris Carter originally, said “we’ve got a five-year plan for this series, and then at the end of five years, we can go and do movies”—that kind of thing. And of course when you sell your show to a network, the network tells you when it’s over, so… That’s sort of changed now too. I mean, there’s a way of ending series properly, but back then, because it was so successful, the network demanded more seasons than perhaps the writers wanted it to continue.