Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 15: Actors Joel McHale, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Creator/Executive Producer Chris Carter speak onstage during “The X-Files” panel discussion at the FOX portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 15, 2016 in Pasadena, California (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

1997: The X-Files

Can you hear the theme music in your head? The X-Files was a science fiction drama that aired on Fox from 1993 until 2002 (with two rebooted seasons airing in 2016 and 2018). The show revolved around FBI special agents Mulder and Scully. The duo investigated unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena, known as the “X-Files” (hence the name of the show). Mulder believes in aliens, but Scully, is a skeptic, and they’re paired together to balance out each other’s theories.

The show’s ratings steadily increased over the years. It had a strong, loyal group of fans — and still does — that were with it through every time slot change, from its original Friday night to Sunday nights, where it stayed until it went off the air in 2002. It was often called one of the best series of the 1990s by critics, but despite its critical praise, the show is still considered a cult show. The show hit its ratings peak in 1997, when it reached the 11th spot in the Nielsen ratings.

The X-Files was nominated for a total of 61 Emmy Awards, and won 16 total over its 9 seasons. Many of the awards were for art direction, sound editing, and makeup. The show also racked up an impressive five Golden Globe awards, from 12 nominations over the years. You can call The X-Files a cult show, but it definitely got the recognition it deserved over the years!