Q: Since “The X-Files” is back for another limited run – 10 episodes this time – are you a supporter of shorter seasons for series?
A: I think once you saw on cable these six- or eight-episode shows, the writing was on the wall for the 22-episode or 25-episode series. I guess there’s always a place for it on (broadcast television), but with actors and writers and producers who have the wherewithal to make their own terms, they’re not going to do that. It’s an inhuman pace, and it’s very difficult to deliver 25 episodes of high quality. It’s difficult enough to deliver 10.
Q: Did that make you welcome the shorter per-season story order for your comedy “Californication”?
A: That’s what got me back into television. After I’d finished “The X-Files,” I thought I was done with TV – because at that point, the only model was the 24-episode (per season) one. I thought, “I’m not going to do that,” and I was lucky enough to find a show on Showtime where we did 12 episodes a year. I got used to that, and I saw the possibility of having a life and a career, and doing the kind of work I wanted to do that wasn’t as completely all-consuming.
Q: Are you satisfied with what you did on the two seasons of the melodrama “Aquarius”?
A: I’ll always be a little sad that “Aquarius” didn’t get a chance to do the four or five seasons that we had envisioned for it, but those two seasons stand up for me. We didn’t get to tell the whole story, but it was really well-cast and I enjoyed working with John McNamara, the showrunner. It was a high point for my kind of personal satisfaction while working. I really enjoyed going to work on that show.