Channel 5 have secured the rights to broadcast the new series of the ‘X-Files’ in the UK, after an intense bidding war. The highly anticipated series see the return of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, after 13 years away from our screens.

Gillian Anderson‘The X-Files’ star Gillian Anderson.

“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.

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“This acquisition underlines our ambition to deliver a diverse slate of brilliant, must-see programming on Channel 5.” The six-part series is expected to come to the UK in early 2016. The deal will also include ‘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 original ‘X-Files’ series was first broadcast in 1993 and ran for nine seasons before being cancelled in 2002. The franchise also spawned the 2008 film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. But since the show's demise fans have been campaign for its return, with rumours of a new series first gaining steam in 2013.

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The series was officially announced as returning back in March, with creator Chris Carter commenting, “I think of it as a 13-year commercial break. The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories.”