Why did David Duchovny leave "The X-Files"?

Answer

David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder on "The X-Files" from 1993 to 2000, left the series stating a desire to pursue a career in film. Duchovny has stated in several interviews, that he never expected "The X-Files" to have the longevity that it did.

Spanning nine seasons and two feature films, the series ran from 1993 to 2000. During the final two seasons, Duchovny only appeared in a total of 14 episodes, being downgraded from a series regular to an occasional guest star. This was explained by the abduction of Agent Mulder at the close of the seventh season. The character reappeared nearly halfway through the season, at which point Gillian Anderson left on maternity leave, and both characters were replaced, albeit temporarily, by Robert Patrick, who played Agent Doggett, and Anabeth Gish, who played Monica Reyes. Patrick and Reyes took over for Duchovny and Anderson for much of the ninth and final season. Although the show struggled without its two original stars, creator Chris Carter theorized that the show "could continue for another ten years with different leads." Following a less-than-stellar review of his film "Playing God," Duchovny returned to the series for the final two-part episode, "The Truth," which constituted the series finale.

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