Audiences continue to swoon over The X-Files 20 years after it first aired, but creator Chris Carter isn't looking back — and his latest project is a collaboration with Amazon. Deadline Hollywood reports that Amazon Studios has ordered a pilot for a new Carter series called The After. It's described as a thriller that takes place at the moment the apocalypse strikes, and was both written and will be directed by Carter.

Original programming has become a fierce battleground for online companies ever since Netflix proved its mettle with a stream of quality shows this year, ranging from Arrested Development to Orange is the New Black. Amazon has gotten its feet wet by moving forward with children's shows and comedies, but as of yet doesn't have its own House of Cards: the kind of high-profile show aimed at adult audiences that proves it can compete with the HBOs and Showtimes of the world.

A dramatic thriller from the likes of Carter would certainly fill the bill, but by opting for a pilot Amazon is going the more cautious, conventional route of TV development. Netflix, on the other hand, ordered two seasons of Cards right out of the gate, something that Kevin Spacey himself recently touted as a bolder, more effective way of producing television. As for fans hungry for another Chris Carter show, he's also developing a project for AMC, so even if Amazon doesn't end up following through with a full series order there appear to be plenty of other options on the table.