“I dont know how soon he wants to do it,” Showtime programming head Gary Levine said Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour. “[But] the door at showtime is always open to Mark [Frost] and David [Lynch] to ‘Twin Peaks’ or anything else they want to talk about.”
Levine and Showtime CEO David Nevins are frequently asked the question of what might be next for the franchise, but as Levine (who, as an ABC executive, worked on the show in the early 1990s), noted: “Let’s remember it took 25 years for Mark and David to go from 1.0 to 2.0. Add to that what David did in last few years was nothing short of Herculean. To direct 18 hours of television, that belongs in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
Levine said “the work was extraordinary, the fan reaction was extraordinary,” and the network makes no apologies for “Twin Peaks,” except for one: Using the show (which was mostly watched online, not on the linear channel) as a lead-in to “I’m Dying Up Here,” which didn’t help that series’ ratings.
Nevins said he and Lynch haven’t discussed another season yet. “We’ve only had conversations about the previous season and what’s going on,” he said. “I know better. He’s not a guy who’s going to be swayed by salesmanship.”
What he does discuss with Lynch is the ongoing enormous consumer marketing interest. “More than most of our shows, ‘Twin Peaks’ has a consumer products angle that we’re not used to seeing,” he said. “There’s constant interest in ‘Twin Peaks,’ and that’s something we do talk to David about because I want him to have total control over every exploitation of the show.”
Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost said in October that a fourth season was being considered: “I haven’t decided yet,” Frost told IndieWire at that time. “I think it’s still an open question and it’s one that we’re looking at and one that I think Showtime is musing as well.”
And in September, Lynch said that he also hadn’t ruled out a fourth season — but that a new season might depend on how long it takes to develop.
Over the summer, Nevins said he had promised David Lynch that they wouldn’t discuss another season of “Twin Peaks” until after the show aired. But the exec seemed doubtful another season could be mounted any time soon, given the sheer amount of work that went into the revival. “Twin Peaks” which was a tremendous, four-year undertaking for Lynch, who directed all 18 hours.
In other news at the TV Critics press tour, Nevins said “The Circus” co-host Mark Halperin contacted the exec a day or so before news broke about sexual harassment allegations in his past. “I’ve known Mark for many years, so that was very difficult, to be blindsided like that. Once it became clear, we decided quickly it was best to go on without him.”
Showtime had already been in conversation with Alex Wagner about joining “The Circus” as another contributor, which turned into her replacing Halperin once he left the show.
As for the recent cancellation of “White Famous” after just one season, Nevins said, “ultimately we believed it was not a show that was going to move the needle in the future or on the right trajectory.”
Showtime announced that “Billions” will return for its third season premiere on Sunday, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET; the second season of “I’m Dying Up Here” will premiere on Sunday, May 6 at 10 p.m. ET; the fourth season of “The Affair” returns on Sunday, June 17 at 9 p.m. ET; and “The Circus” is back on April 15 with new co-host Alex Wagner.
Also, Showtime will premiere the feature documentary “XY Chelsea” later this year, along with a U.S. theatrical run. Produced by Pulse Films, “XY Chelsea” follows the story of whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. “Shot over two years and featuring exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes verité with Manning, the film picks up on the momentous day in May when she leaves prison and follows her through her journey of discovery, while also examining her place in the conversation on national security and the fight of the transgender community for rights and visibility.”
And Showtime Documentary Films will premiere multi-part documentary series “The Fourth Estate” (working title), “exploring the process and progress of The New York Times and its journalists in covering the Trump administration.” Filmmaker Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) is behind the project.