Watch: David Lynch Talks Saving Twin Peaks on Letterman, 1991
While Lynchians wait patiently for the 2017 return of Twin Peaks, a good way to pass the time might be with Dennis Lim’s new book on the director. Numerous extracts from David Lynch: The Man from Another Place have been shared online, and this part on Twin Peaks, recently published on Slate, is a fine place to start. As Lim writes:
In what was widely seen as a bid to euthanize the show, ABC moved Twin Peaks to the television wasteland of Saturday night at the start of the second season. Ratings continued to decline, and in February 1991, the network put the show on hiatus, to the ire of die-hard fans, who formed a group called COOP, the Coalition Opposed to Offing Peaks, and mounted a letter-writing campaign. Lynch appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman to protest the Saturday slot—explaining that Peaks fans were “party people”—and encouraged viewers to write to Bob Iger, the president of ABC’s entertainment division, to keep the show on the air. ABC, which received more than 10,000 letters, agreed a few weeks later to let Lynch and Frost finish out the season in the show’s original Thursday time slot, but its fate seemed obvious by then.
Here’s that interview clip. Lynch is his usual alert-if-spacey self and his proposed letter-writing campaign is catnip to Letterman, who never met a TV executive he didn’t want to mess with. Also of note: a clip from Twin Peaks with Lynch as Agent Gordon Cole, presented without Angelo Badalamentii’s score, which makes for a bracingly dead-air experience.