Skinner was played by Mitch Pileggi, and the Cigarette Smoking Man, sometimes called Cancer Man, by William B. Davis. Both actors were hired onto the show to play small parts in early X-Files episodes, only to have their roles expanded tremendously into major players within the show's mythology. Skinner functioned as a Mulder and Scully's direct supervisor, a careful ally in the war against conspiracy, while the Cigarette Smoking Man was one of The X-Files' most visible and consistent villains. It's unclear how he'll fit into a new series, as he was killed in the final episode of the show, but death is never much of a hurdle in stories draped in supernatural mystery.
The new series run for six episodes, and will reunite Duchovny's Mulder and Gillian Anderson's Scully with show creator Chris Carter. Production is set to begin this summer, with no premiere date yet announced.
"When they developed Spanx I knew I had a shot of coming back," Duchovny said, when asked if he'd ever suspected The X-Files might return. He continued: "It's a strange phenomenon that people still want to see those characters, but I'm grateful."