'Twin Peaks' ' Mark Frost Talks Showtime Revival — and Why It Wouldn't Work on Netflix

"Give people a chapter at a time, instead of the whole book"
'Twin Peaks'

With rumblings of a Twin Peaks revival starting a few years ago, Mark Frost and David Lynch's quirky drama finally landed at Showtime on Monday. The cable network gave a nine-episode order for a new iteration of the ABC series, set to premiere in 2016, more than 25 years after its last episode aired.

Questions about returning cast — Kyle MacLachlan? Sherilyn Fenn? Michael Ontkean? — are on hold while the co-creators prepare for a 2015 start of filming, but Frost hopped on the phone with The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the news broke to talk about a few of the definites. The scribe, who will co-write each of the nine installments with director Lynch, did clear up a few things — like how much of the story is already set, if there's potential for this being more than just a one-off and why the project probably wouldn't have been a good fit for Netflix's all-at-once release model.

When did this become a reality?

It sprang to life three years ago, when David and I first started talking about it and we realized this world and these people were drawing us back. It's gestated since then, and then this year we realized it was time to go out and place it somewhere. Showtime was the first place we spoke with, and we think we found a wonderful home for it.

Did you have talks with anyone else, like Netflix? The original series has gotten a lot of play there.  

You know, we never got to that point. We had that first meeting [with Showtime], and it was so encouraging, it didn't feel like there was a need to go anywhere else. I know there's been this whole emphasis on binge watching — and a lot of people have done that to our show — but I think when you're unveiling hours, there's something to be said for spacing it out. Give people a chapter at a time, instead of the whole book.

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How did you settle on nine hours?

The show should be no longer than the amount of time you need to tell it, and that's just the number that we came up with. What we wanted to do fits into this number of hours. It was not a hard decision.

Was Showtime content with revisiting the franchise or did you pitch a full story?

At the point at which we met with Showtime, we had the story almost entirely in mind. We didn't tell them all of it, but we told them enough for them to say yes.

Have you written anything yet?

We're in the process. It's going along, and we hope to be in production next year and on the air some time in 2016. Those are the red-letter dates.

Can you say anything about discussions with past castmembers? 

I'm hopeful that we'll have news on it in the coming weeks.

Read more Kyle MacLachlan Hints at 'Twin Peaks' Return

Did you have a ratio in mind of how much the new series would touch on the old one and how much would be entirely new ground?

We had a very clear sense of what that ratio should be. I can't tell you what it is, but we knew there had to be a balance, and we hope we found the right balance to strike.

It's been over 25 years, do the exteriors in Washington even resemble how they were in the original?

I don't know either. It's going to be part of the discovery from this point forward. We're going to have to find out as we go.

Is this truly a limited series or do you see it as a backdoor for more Twin Peaks?

Well, I think we're very happy to tell the story that's in front of us. We've also reckoned anything is possible. We're remaining open to all possibilities to see where it leads us.

Resurrecting TV series has become commonplace. Do you have any hesitations about this affecting the series' legacy?

Unless we felt confident about the direction we were going in, I don't think we would have attempted to do this. We certainly don't want to tarnish any sense of legacy. Hopefully we'll be able to enhance it.

Did you and David spend a lot of time thinking about how to satisfy fans without alienating new viewers?

Obviously, we'd like to reach as many new people as we can. There are so many avenues open to people to experience the show as it was, and we hope they'll take full advantage of that and that we'll bring even more people to the table this go-round. That would be a fantastic outcome.