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Hi guys,

I was reading an article online a few days ago and something has stuck with me and I wondered if you folk could me find an interview to which I assume it was referring. The article writer asserted that after The Lone Gunmen was axed an understandably miffed Chris Carter blamed the fans for not supporting the show and the characters for it's demise. A first, I thought this was another example of received wisdom but something makes me think there is some grain of truth in it as I'm sure I've heard or read something in the past that appeared to back this up. Does anyone know what Chris actually said as I'm just curious too read in what context it was used as it was described in the article as being a "throwing his toys out of the pram" moment which I'm sure it wasn't at all.

Thanks chaps!


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Guest RodimusBen

I watched a few episodes of the Lone Gunmen in the old X-Files days but found it to just not be up to snuff with its parent program. Sometimes there are supporting characters who can make good protagonists in their own spinoff shows. Frasier and Angel most readily spring to mind. Other times it's clear why supporting characters are just that-- they aren't complex or appealing enough to hold a show entirely on their own.

I don't idolize Chris Carter, so I have no problem saying that if he DID say what's attributed to him in the article you mention, he loses a bit of respect from me. Granted, anyone can say something they don't mean in a moment of frustration, but real artists/writers/creators do NOT blame their audience for the success or failure of their work. If an audience didn't get/like/support a work, whether it be a painting, a book or a TV show, then it is the artist him/herself who was unsuccessful at communicating to the audience, not the other way around.

Again, that's all IF the quote is accurate.

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Precisely my response Ben which is why I cannot conceivably imagine that Chris would have said that or certainly said it in the way it was delivered in the article. The exact quote is...

'The Lone Gunmen'

Number of Seasons: 1 (2001)

Number of Episodes: 13

Number of Unaired Episodes: 0

Network: Fox

A goofy spin-off of 'The X-Files' that just didn't quite work (but nonetheless almost did), 'The Lone Gunmen' proved that everyone's favorite conspiracy theorists worked better as supporting characters and not stars of their own show. However, some of the episodes had that magic Chris Carter touch, including the rather eerie pilot episode in which the boys uncover a government conspiracy to crash a plane into the World Trade Center (the episode aired about six months before Sept. 11). We wouldn't have minded their company a little longer, but Fox pulled the plug after 13 episodes; a bitter Carter blamed fans for not loving the show enough and ended up killing off the Gunmen in the final season of 'The X Files.' Sheesh, Chris!

Part of me thinks there is some grain of truth in what the writer is stating. My vague recollection is that Chris may have said something along the lines that there wasn't the support for the show that he had anticipated hence it's cancellation which is an observation not an attempt to lay blame at a particular group for not supporting the show. Events of late have proven to me how easy it is for someone to put words in someone else's mouth (as was demonstrated by an erroneous quote attributed to Lance regarding the Millennium Movie) and these words become fact on the crazy world that is the internet.

I'm really hoping Libby reads this as she is a wealth of information regarding Chris Carter and no doubt has a clearer recollection of what was said.


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Guest SpooktalkGiGi

I was a HUGE HUGE Lone Gunmen fan and was very upset and depressed when it was cancelled.. I do recall something along the lines of this Mark, and I too have been researching but have not been able to find anything.. i do remember it was cancelled due to low ratings but everything i like gets cancelled... lol :(


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You speak my language Laura, I absolutely loved The Lone Gunmen too. I'm much more likely to put on an episode of The Lone Gunmen than I am X-Files these days but I can see why it didn't work. A spin-off show usually only appeals to the fans of the show it has spun-off from. By that point in The X-Files' history a large percentage of fandom was preoccupied with Mulder and Scully's relationship and devoid of those two characters there was little for them to invest in in The Lone Gunmen although attempts were made to provide something for shippers in the Yves/Jimmy relationship.

Of all the shows from Ten Thirteen it is one I can safely put on when the not-we are around and know they will enjoy it, it had the potential for so much more but was evidently not going to appeal to anyone outside of the 1013 fan universe because the characters were so intrinsically linked to the X-Files.

I guess if Chris did say something along these lines, and it does seem like people have a hazy memory of something akin to it, then his login, on paper, is intact. If everyone who watched the X-Files watched Lone Gunmen then the show would have been a sure fire hit though there was no obligation on people to do so. Shame it didn't turn out to be a success.


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  • Elders (Moderators)

I've been searching, and I can't find anything that fits with that comment. However, here's a couple of extracts (which are similar to the remarks CC made about the cancellation of Harsh Realm):


DVD Empire

Chris Carter: I love those characters...they are the creation of James Wong and Glen Morgan. They were a nice addition to the show and I thought they were a good idea for a spin-off series. The idea for a spin-off series wasn't mine though, it was the idea of Vince Gilligan, Frank Spotnitz and John Shiban. And even though my name was on it, it was really their series and I thought they did a fantastic job. The reason the show did not make it I think had more to do with the promotion of that show and the network and studio's belief in it.


Seattle Times

That series of yours lasted three years, but two others disappeared fast. What did you take away from your experiences with "The Lone Gunmen" and "Harsh Realm"?

My experience is that if a network is not behind the show, that the audience perceives this as a vote of no confidence and doesn't get behind it, either. I think what's happening is that, for me, the network landscape is changing, and if you're not a hit right out of the box they're not prone to stick with you - although shows like "24" would disprove that theory. All I can do is come up with a good idea and execute it the best I can and try to get them to promote it and hope that it finds an audience. It's the name of the game. I can't cry too much, because if people aren't watching the show, you can't argue with that.

Here's an article which includes info on the number of viewers:


Broward-Palm Beach New Times

The Lone Gunmen debuted March 4--in The X-Files' temporarily abandoned Sunday-night slot--and was seen by about 13.2 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings; 9 million tuned in the second week, and the number was half that for the third--a precipitous drop that terrifies any network (smells like the XFL). But when the show moved to its regular Friday-night slot in late March, viewership actually increased: It's estimated about 6.5 million people tune in each week. That's nothing compared to a show like E.R., which attracts about 25 million pairs of eyeballs, but it still qualifies The Lone Gunmen as Fox's most successful Friday-night series since the Chris Carter-created Millennium...which the network killed after its third season.

(Incidentally, "Fringe" - although on Thursday nights - has recently dipped to around 5 million viewers. But maybe that's just a reflection on what viewing figures are these days.)

As for blaming the fans, I really doubt CC would do that (in public, anyway). He's always been very careful about what he says (which I think is why he became more hesitant over the years, knowing full well that fans would pick over everything he said). Some online fans at the time of XF's Jump the Shark interpreted that episode as a deliberate insult to fans:


Clearly, the writers' affection for us has run out. Maybe they were pissed off that we didn't follow the Lone Gunmen to their own show. Maybe they

were just tired of the show in general, and felt the need to pass along their annoyance to the rest of us.

I think you can make a legitimate argument that suggests 1013 has gone from playfully poking fun at the online fan base to

displaying signs of outright contempt. They're still poking fun at us, but I don't know how many people consider their actions to be playfull.

Maybe the person who made that comment picked up some fan reactions about the demise of the Lone Gunmen, but if you listen to the commentary for Jump the Shark (or read it: www.chelonium.plus.com/txf/season9/9x15commentary.html) you'll likely get the impression that the writers thought very carefully about the last appearance of the Lone Gunmen.

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Libby never fails to deliver :thumbsup:

I was a little surprised at the reaction from the poster at the newsgroup Libby. I didn't like Jump The Shark for the pure and simple reason that I had invested in, and become incredibly fond of, the five gunmen in their new show and I mourned their passing. I certainly didn't feel insulted by the decision to kill them merely disappointed I would guess. As always, I never quite the understand the logic that fans of genre shows employ when they proclaim that the creative teams behind the shows make creative decisions to annoy them. It's a curious mixture of egocentricism and petulance IMHO.

So it looks like another case of received wisdom in which some random Chinese whisper becomes cold hard fact due to regurgitation over the years.

Thanks so much for the clarification Libby and once more, here's to The Lone Gunmen - a great 1013 show that never got the support it deserved.




(Cut to visiting room. JIMMY is led in and sees YVES who smiles broadly at him.)

YVES: Hey, baby. You got a kiss for your wife?

(YVES kisses her fingers then holds them to the barrier. JIMMY is somewhat dumbfounded so she indicates he should do the same, which he does.)

YVES: How you holding up in here?

JIMMY: Well, you know, can't complain.

YVES: I miss you baby.

JIMMY: Yeah?

(JIMMY smiles. YVES raises her eyebrows.)

JIMMY: Oh... yeah. I miss you too. 'Cause you're my wife and all. I mean, why wouldn't I miss my wife? God. I miss when we make love like for hours and hours, and I miss your secret touch. I miss your... well of course I miss your -

(The GUARD, listening in on the conversation, is grinning; YVES is grimacing.)

YVES: Cheetos? How about I buy you some Cheetos?

(She walks over to a vending machine and buys a pack and swaps them for a pack she brought with her. She speaks to a GUARD.)

YVES: Sir, can you please give these to my husband?

JIMMY: So... how are the kids? Little Jimmy Jr. and Peabo? Does Peabo still have that weird thing with his nose?

(JIMMY does a weird thing with his nose.)

YVES: No, Peabo is well.

JIMMY: Thanks, baby. (The GUARD hands JIMMY the Cheetos.) Oh, I Like the puffy kind, not the crunchy. But, you know, whatever. Maybe I can trade it for something.

YVES: No. Honey, you keep those yourself. You keep those and you think of me.

JIMMY: (to GUARD.) Hey, what are the chances of us getting a conjugal visit?

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  • Elders (Moderators)

JIMMY: Oh... yeah. I miss you too. 'Cause you're my wife and all. I mean, why wouldn't I miss my wife? God. I miss when we make love like for hours and hours, and I miss your secret touch. I miss your... well of course I miss your -

You've got to love those John Gilnitz guys! They wrote such funny dialogue. Kudos to Stephen Snedden for playing Jimmy Bond so well. I'm sure I read somewhere about how difficult it was for the producers to find the right actor, until Stephen Snedden auditioned when they knew they had the right person. That was such an incredibly challenging role for an actor, and Stephen Snedden really carried it off so well.

Eth, do you mind if I hijack this bit of the thread and say that I'm pretty sure you got your extract from insidethex.co.uk. I have had some contact with the webmaster, DrWeesh, and I'm happy that he hosts my transcripts on his site (mostly because he does credit me, which some other sites don't). But I really, really [petulantly stamps my feet] don't like how he presents transcripts. They're transcripts, for goodness sake, not scripts. There is absolutely no reason to CAPITALISE every instance of a character's name in the scene descriptions. Scripts do that, so actors etc can easily see who is in a particular scene, but they generally only do that once, not every time a character is mentioned in the scene description. There are other things that are capitalised, but that's for the benefit of the crew so everyone know whether a special effect or a prop is needed. I find the transcripts at insidethex quite difficult to read, but that's because capitalisation on the internet is often likened to shouting. For sure, you and anybody else can choose where to read transcripts, but I guess I come from the point of view of readability, and I don't think DrWeesh understands that.

[And... breathe.]

OK, I've stopped stamping my little feet now. :makingeyes:

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