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‘Twin Peaks’ Shut Out at the Emmys, as David Lynch Loses Directing and Writing Races

"The Return" couldn't stage a comeback at the Emmys, where it went zero-for-nine in 2018.

Kyle MacLachlan, "Twin Peaks"

Kyle MacLachlan in “Twin Peaks”


It’s not happening again. Despite the original series winning two Emmys and landing a slew of high-profile nominations, “Twin Peaks: The Return” couldn’t make a successful comeback to the Emmys in 2018.

At the Creative Arts Emmys, held September 8 and September 9, David Lynch’s limited series lost the first seven awards it could win. Nominated for production design, sound editing, sound mixing, cinematography, makeup, editing, and hairstyling, “Twin Peaks” lost to the likes of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Genius: Picasso,” and “Black Mirror: USS Callister.”

That left two chances to win Monday night at the Primetime Emmy Awards: Lynch and Mark Frost was nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special and Lynch was up for Outstanding Directing in the same field. Charlie Brooker took home the writing award for “Black Mirror: USS Callister,” and Ryan Murphy beat David Lynch for directing honors.

For those tracking the Emmy race, there were warnings that “Twin Peaks” might struggle. It wasn’t nominated for Outstanding Limited Series, despite what many considered to be a weak year, competitively, and Kyle MacLachlan was shut out of the Lead Actor race despite two previous nominations for the series, a Golden Globe win for Season 1, and a nomination earlier this year for “The Return.” Challenging material, limited viewership, and a long wait between airing and voting could all be to blame for the poor Emmys showing.

In 1990, “Twin Peaks” Season 1 won Emmys for Outstanding Editing and Outstanding Achievement in Costuming for a Series. Lynch was nominated for directing and writing that year, as well, and the first season was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Season 2 only landed four nominations, but one highlight was a second consecutive nod for lead actor Kyle MacLachlan.

David Lynch directed every episode of “Twin Peaks: The Return.” Debuting in May 2017 and running through September, the 18-hour Showtime limited series revived the long dormant series and earned rave reviews from critics. It was the second highest-rated series of 2017, based on critics’ Top 10 lists (“The Leftovers” was first), and earned a Golden Globe nomination for MacLachlan and a TCA nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, and Specials.

For ongoing coverage of the Emmys, keep checking IndieWire and follow the Awards page for the most recent updates.

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