In the next few weeks we will either make sense of David Lynch’s monumental re-visit to TV in the form of Twin Peaks: The Return… Or we won’t. That’s not the point though, as anyone who has been tuning in looking for a nostalgia rush of pie and damn good coffee can attest.
Lynch’s Twin Peaks has become one of the oddities of Television. For some, he’s re-written the rules, make one re-think how someone could and should watch a TV show. For others, it’s a maddening piece of slow dribble, one that missed out on countless opportunities. For Lynch, it seems he got to do exactly what he wanted and that should be taken as an incredible accomplishment in itself.
As for how the series’ ratings have been going, Showtime has yet to reveal many of the figures week-to-week. Although expectations from the very beginning were that the season would probably not track high with regards to linear ratings (opening with a modest 619,000 total viewers, increasing to 804,000). This leaves the possibility of another season (another Return) up in the air. Lynch himself has often left the notion up in the air. Preferring to smirk and play coy in his typical, fabulous way rather than reveal any future plans for the show, or any project for that matter.
In a statement that will certainly crush many Twin Peaks fans, Showtime president, and CEO David Nevins made it known that there are currently no plans to revisit the David Lynch/Mark Frost mystery-thriller series for a fourth season.
“I don’t think so, but it’s not impossible. [David Lynch and I are] both avoiding the conversation for a while; we want to let the story coalesce and see how people feel at the end. It was always intended to be one season. A lot of people are speculating but there’s been zero contemplation, zero discussions other than fans asking me about it.”
That said, “the door’s always open to David Lynch, whether that would lead to another season, I don’t know if he wants to do it,” said Showtime programming president Gary Levine, who was ABC’s executive on the original Twin Peaks series and played a key role in bringing the revival to Showtime. “This was a Herculean effort. I’m not sure if any director has ever done 18 hours in a row of a series… It’s remarkable what he achieved, fans are liking it and for me that’s what’s satisfying.”
For Nevins, the show’s success was bringing in and keeping new monthly subscribers as well as in increasing traffic to Showtime’s alternative platforms like subscriber-aimed Showtime Anytime. Said, Nevins:
“I’m really happy with the performance. It drove our business in a way that almost nothing else could. It’s been interesting and maybe it’s a blinding glimpse of how Netflix looks at the world but [it had] a palpable effect on subscribers even though its overall numbers are not as big as our biggest shows. But it’s had a very palpable effect on subscribers for multiple months now.”
Twin Peaks: The Return came with a built-in fan base and nearly three years of hype since Showtime announced that the cult phenomenon would be returning to the small screens. However, that road was not always easy as co-creator Lynch briefly dropped out over budget concerns which pushed the premiere back a year, after it was originally envisioned to air in 2016 in order to coincide with the series 25th anniversary.
We still got Laura Palmer speaking her iconic line: “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” That we did, and we’re nearing the end now. Savor it if you can, we are not likely to see the likes of Lynch and Twin Peaks again.
Twin Peaks: The Return airs on Showtime on Sundays at 8:00 PM/ET (it’s new timeslot) and to stream on Showtime Anytime.
Images: Showtime, ABC