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December 20, 2014

the x-files

TV's Smartest Detectives

by AOL TV Staff, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:00AM
Magnum P.I.Ready to sharpen your armchair detective skills?

TNT is kicking off a new Mystery Movie Night, starting with Scott Turow's 'Innocent' (premieres Tues., Nov. 29, 9PM ET), starring Bill Pullman as a man charged with murdering his wife, played by Marcia Gay Harden, and Alfred Molina as his defense attorney. In honor of this series of best-selling whodunit stories brought to the small screen, we rounded up the smartest detectives in TV history.

From an OCD gumshoe-for-hire to a no-nonsense Scotland Yard sleuth, a sassy high-school snoop and a P.I. with facial hair as famous as he was, check out our gallery of the top 20 smartest TV detectives of all time.

Do your keen powers of perception tell you we've missed someone? Add your own favorites in the comments.

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'X-Files' Actor John Neville Dies at 86

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 21st 2011 3:30PM
John NevilleCanadian actor John Neville, perhaps best known for his role as The Well-Manicured Man in 'The X-Files,' has died at the age of 86.

The Canadian Press reports that Neville, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died Saturday in Toronto, surrounded by family. The veteran actor appeared in dozens of productions over the course of his sixty-year career, but it was his titular role in Terry Gilliam's 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' that earned him critical acclaim and public visibility. Though the film was a commercial failure, few could fault Neville's wry performance, and he went on to become a mainstay in films, television and theater.

Though he turned in many memorable on-screen performances, Neville seemed just as comfortable working behind the scenes, serving as artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse in the 1960s and, after his move to Canada, the Stratford Festival in the 1980s.

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Who's Your Favorite Female TV Character?

by Michael Wandling, posted Mar 31st 2011 3:15PM
TV WomenBehind almost every great TV show, there's a great woman.

Over the last month we've been celebrating the many wonderful women who have graced our TV sets over the years. Whether they starred in comedies, soaps, dramas, reality shows or brought us the best in talk shows and news, these women have been a vital part of not only the TV landscape, but our lives.

But everybody has his or her own favorites and takes on what makes a TV character superior to another. That's why we want to hear from you. We know not all of you agreed with our choices or the order we put them in, so now's your chance to share your thoughts by voting in the poll below.

With that said, we couldn't help but wonder what it'd be like to gather the ladies who topped our Top 100 Most Memorable Women list for a dinner. The conversations they'd have, the insight these characters could share with one another. Yes, if you couldn't tell, we love TV.

Check out the graphic representation of our TV women dinner along with the poll and links to our various salutes to TV women lists.

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Top 20 Magic/Supernatural Shows Of All Time

by Laura Prudom, posted Dec 9th 2010 3:00PM
Mankind has always been fascinated by the things that we can't explain -- ghosts, vampires, magic, mystery -- and popular culture is saturated with TV shows and movies that play on that obsession.

From the campy, spellbinding classics of the '60s to the dark, spooky series that haunted the '90s, audiences have been fixated with the paranormal -- whether it's a butt-kicking blonde in killer heels, a couple of hunky demon-hunting brothers or a trio of sibling witches -- some of the most enduring shows in the history of television deal with the things that go bump in the night or the extraordinary powers we wish we could harness.

To further feed this dark, dangerous obsession with the extraordinary or otherworldly, TV Squad has compiled a list of our top 20 favorite TV shows dealing with magic and the world of the supernatural.

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 'Supernatural' Pays Tribute to 'The X-Files'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 17th 2010 6:04PM
'Supernatural' fans, the truth is out there.

In this exclusive clip from Friday's episode of 'Supernatural,' the show pays tribute to one of its biggest influences, 'The X-Files.'

As 'Supernatural' fans know, the show doesn't usually feature an opening credit sequence. But as 'Supernatural' executive producer Sera Gamble explained, an opening montage recalling 'The X-Files' seemed appropriate for Friday's episode, which has Sam and Dean Winchester investigating a UFO sighting.

When the episode, 'Clap Your Hands If You Believe,' was in the planning stages, "we decided to do an alien abduction as the teaser, and we immediately thought to do the title sequence," Gamble said.

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Scariest TV Monsters of All Time (That Actually Scare Us)

by Ryan McKee, posted Oct 26th 2010 5:15PM
Monsters are not supposed to scare adults. Serial killers, gangs, torture, guns, sickness, terrorism and crippling bankruptcy are the things meant to scare us.

However, every once in awhile, a series will create a monster believable enough to actually scare us. We may not jump or cry while watching the show, but the memory of it sticks with us. It's unsettling when you're alone at night or lost in the woods. In honor of Halloween, here are the scariest TV monsters of all time.

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What to Watch: April 19 - 25

by Stephanie Earp, posted Apr 19th 2010 3:17AM


Warehouse 13
- Friday April 23, 10 pm, Citytv

This SyFy show makes its Canadian debut tonight, although in some ways it's been in Canada all along - it is shot in and around Toronto and Dundas, Ontario, and stars a slew of Canadian actors, including series lead Joanne Kelly. The plot is kind of silly -- two agents are assigned to gather supernatural artifacts for storage in a mysterious warehouse. But one could say that the plot of 'The X-Files' is equally ridiculous - it's all in the writing and the chemistry, which for the most part has gotten good reviews. US media keep citing 'Indiana Jones', but another show popped into my head -- 'Relic Hunter.' But 'Relic Hunter' with a budget.

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When Good Shows Go Bad (AKA the 'Heroes' Hall of Shame)

by Gary Susman, posted Nov 20th 2009 5:00PM
Recently, we were inspired by 'Parks and Recreation' to write a feature listing TV shows that overcame a rocky launch. Sadly, the reverse seems more common: shows that start strong but finish weak.

Our latest inspiration is the ongoing death spiral of 'Heroes.' (This week: Mohinder does something stupid! People's powers go awry at inopportune moments! Adrian Pasdar, pictured, looks like he'd rather be anywhere else!) Here's a once-inspired show that seems to be going down in flames after having run out of ideas.

Other times, shows peter out because of casting changes, bad writing or bizarre creative decisions. In each case, however, the audience feels betrayed and often deserts the show, leading to ratings death and what-went-wrong autopsies. Here's what went wrong on nine other good shows gone bad.

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Hey, it's X-Files 1013 Day

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 13th 2009 1:27PM
The X-FilesI don't know if this is a real holiday or not, but if it isn't let's start one.

Today is October 13, a very important date in the world of The X-Files. It's the birthday of the show's creator, Chris Carter, but it's also...

  • the name of Carter's production company, Ten Thirteen Productions ("I made this!")
  • Fox Mulder's birthday
  • the day The X-Files movie was released on video in 1999
  • the names of various files on the show and the dates that various events occurred, including the day Cigarette Smoking Man offered his wife to the aliens
  • and many other things

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Do Fringe and The X-Files take place in the same fictional universe?

by Mike Moody, posted Sep 21st 2009 8:02AM
fringe season two premiere x filesFringe isn't exactly the most original show on TV. Critics and audiences have been comparing it to The X-Files since it premiered last season. Like The X-Files, Fringe offers up creepy cases of the week and an overarching sci-fi conspiracy/mystery plot that helps build the show's rich mythology. In The X-Files, the conspiracy thread had something to do with shady government officials working with aliens and black tar – or something like that. In Fringe, it's called "The Pattern," a series of unexplainable events all seemingly connected to one William Bell and his company, Massive Dynamic.

Show creators Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and J.J. Abrams have acknowledged the influence of The X-Files on their show, but do Fringe and The X-Files actually take place in the same fictional universe?

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Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad: The TV Squad Interview

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 19th 2009 11:01AM
Aaron_Paul_Breaking_Bad

On July 16th when the Primetime Emmy nominations are announced, one name that is likely to appear in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series is Aaron Paul. As Jesse Pinkman on AMC's Breaking Bad, Aaron has done amazing work, revealing a character as fascinating as he is flawed.

His performance this past season on Breaking Bad has generated lots of talk about an Emmy nomination, but not to be overlooked is the fact that Paul is also doing great work on HBO's Big Love. On that drama, his character, Scott, is the antithesis of Jesse. It's a testament to Aaron's skill as an actor that I didn't recognize him at first from Big Love when I watched Breaking Bad. A search of his IMDB listing was one of those 'ah-ha' moments. Recently, I had to chance to speak with Aaron, and we started with the jaw-dropping season finale of Breaking Bad.

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I'm starting to think I've seen Fringe before...

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 23rd 2009 2:21PM

Olivia (Anna Torv, L), Walter (John Noble, C), and Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) track a deadly creature in the FRINGE episode 'Unleashed.'
When Fringe premiered last September, critics around the country distilled the new sci-fi drama down to one simple sentence: it's like a cross between Alias and The X-Files. At the time, that's what pretty much guaranteed I'd tune in. I still found that assessment a little odd since I always thought Alias had a healthy dose of influence from Mulder and Scully to begin with.

Regardless, Fringe clearly took a few cues from both shows in many ways. However, after this past Tuesday's episode ("Bad Dreams", S01E17), I stared to get a little annoyed. I've seen this before.

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Here's a list of the top 50 dramas of all-time (OK, maybe 45) - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 25th 2009 2:10PM
The X-FilesQuestion: Is The Sopranos the best drama in the history of television, or is it one of the best dramas in the history of television that often gets the top spot because it's fairly recent?

That's one of the questions to ponder as you read AOL's Top 50 Dramas Of All-Time list. The Sopranos comes in at number one.

It's not a bad list, actually. When you narrow down a TV show to a specific genre and go all the way up to 50, most of the shows we would all pick will show up on the list: The X-Files, Deadwood, The Rockford Files, Mad Men, St. Elsewhere, Columbo, The Wire. Those are all classic dramas (and good ones) that you would expect to see.

One thing I didn't expect to see? Friday Night Lights in the number 10 spot, ahead of all the shows I just mentioned above.

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Guess which two shows are missing from this best of the 90s list - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 10th 2009 3:02PM
Everybody loves lists, right? That's why I was attracted to this AOL Television list of the best TV shows of the 1990s. Lots of good entries, some head-scratchers, and two incredibly glaring omissions.

You can immediately guess which shows are on the list: Seinfeld, The X-Files, Sports Night, Oz, The Sopranos, The Larry Sanders Show. There are some shows that I certainly would never put on such a list, but I can understand why they were chosen, such as Party of Five, Dawson's Creek, and Ally McBeal. I think this is probably yet another example of "best" being confused with "popular" or "buzzworthy." Actually, I would never include Ally McBeal on any sort of best of list.

But what really confuses me? There are two major shows, two shows that are often mentioned in a "best of" list (not just the 90s, but all-time) that aren't on the list! Can you guess what they are? Both appeared on NBC, and one of them was created by someone who created one of the above shows.

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X-Files creator hospitalized

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 4th 2008 4:23PM
The X-FilesThe X-Files creator Chris Carter has been hospitalized for exhaustion. This was brought on by "physical exhaustion and an acute sleeping disorder."

The pressure on the man must be enormous. He's working on a new movie Fencewalker and just finished The X-Files: I Want to Believe movie. While reviews of the movie weren't great, it did make $60 million in the worldwide box office (from a $30 million budget). That's not including the inevitable DVD sales (which will probably be strong due to the number of X-Files enthusiasts out there). How much does a movie have to make in order to be considered a success by Hollywood standards?

I admit that I know nothing about Chris Carter, so the skeptic in me can't help but wonder if "exhaustion" is a euphemism for some other addiction. Perhaps he and David Duchovny will run into each other while hospitalized and chat about old times.

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