The X-Files return to be broadcast on Channel 5

X Files Mulder & Scully

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Mulder and Scully for first series in 13 years as six-part run begins early in 2016

Channel 5 has secured the UK rights to air the new series of The X-Files.

In March, US broadcaster Fox confirmed the show was set to return to TV for the first time in 13 years, with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson resuming their roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Channel 5 has won the bidding war for the new six-part series and will broadcast early next year.

“Securing the UK premiere of the hugely anticipated return of The X-Files is a major coup for the channel and will create one of the television events of 2016,” said Ben Frow, director of programmes at Channel 5. “This acquisition underlines our ambition to deliver a diverse slate of brilliant, must-see programming on Channel 5.”

The deal also includes The X-Files Essential Collection, 20 episodes selected by the show’s creator Chris Carter, which promises to “take viewers through the gripping story of the original series”.

The six-episode run is shorter than most US TV series, which has been described by Fox as an event.

The deal was struck by Katie Keenan, head of acquisitions for Channel 5 and Viacom UK, and 20th Century Fox Television Distribution UK.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Channel 5 as we bring the next chapter of one of our most celebrated series to fans around the world,” said Steve Cornish, of 20th Century Fox Distribution.

The original series premiered in 1993 and ran for nine seasons and was cancelled in 2002.

Duchovny and Anderson returned for a feature film, X-Files: I want to Believe, in 2008.

Rumours of the show’s return have swirled around the internet for years, and in 2013 Anderson and Duchovny generated much excitement when they hinted during an online discussion that another X-Files film might be in the works.

Since the last X-Files series, Anderson has starred in a string of literary adaptations – as Lady Dedlock in Bleak House, Lily Bart in The House of Mirth, Miss Havisham in the BBC’s Great Expectations, and Mrs Castaway in The Crimson Petal and The White – and more recently she played Superintendent Stella Gibson in murder drama The Fall on the BBC and RTE, which has been recommissioned for a third series set to air next year.

Anderson also received warm reviews for her performance as Blanche in a feted Young Vic revival of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire.

Duchovny found further success in the US with Californication, which finished a seven-season run last year. This year he published his debut novel, Holy Cow, in which a cow called Elsie, a pig called Shalom and a turkey called Tom escape a farm in upstate New York in search of a better life.

Powered by article was written by Mark Sweney, for on Thursday 10th December 2015 11.54 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010