X-Files creator Chris Carter had absolutely no interest in pumping the first few episodes of his spinoff series

The Lone Gunmen with cameos by X symbols Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Robert Patrick. "I think that that's a cheap way to get ratings," Carter tells TV Guide Online. "We wanted the show to stand on its own, to live and breathe on its own."

Well, judging by the ratings for last Sunday's premiere, Gunmen got by without a little help from its friends. The quirky Fox series attracted a promising 13 million viewers and won all the major adult demos. Still, Carter "wouldn't rule out" an attention-grabbing visit by one of his X-Files leads down the line, and reveals that he's already scripted a crossover for supporting player Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Skinner). "I don't want to give [the story] away, but I can tell you that [Skinner] gets very, very close to the character of Jimmy Bond (Gunmen hottie Stephen Snedden)," he teases. "It will be very interesting."

Gunmen's true ratings test will come on March 16 when it moves into its regular Friday at 9 pm/ET timeslot after subletting The X-Files's home for two weeks. (A third and final Sunday Gunmen airs March 18.) Meanwhile, The X-Files returns with original installments on April 1, and Carter promises that viewers will finally see Mulder do something other than play dead during the final five minutes of every sixth episode.

"From here on out, you see [Mulder] in every episode," Carter assures, adding that this is not about "punching a timeclock... this is about storytelling and it's about being true to the story that we set out to tell, which is Mulder's abduction. [Up to this point,] it would be very hard to do episodes with him in them completely."

And regarding another season of The X-Files, Carter reports that "Fox is trying to negotiate a ninth year with me. I would come back under the right circumstances." As would Duchovny, although it appears his terms would translate into even less screen time than he's had this year. Says Carter: "I don't think David would come back except for possibly in a very abbreviated way."