What helped getting Mark Frost and David Lynch to finally do a Twin Peaks series? Good ol’ begging, numerology and some pretty disturbing pieces of art. That’s according to David Nevins whose network Showtime will air the limited series. “I was begging them to pass muster with David Lynch,” he said at TCA. Finally, the timing was right, coming up on the 25th anniversary of the original series. “25 years in David’s mind was the magic number, there is a reference in the original, ‘I’ll see you in 25 years’. He pays attention to such numerology.”
The decorator of Nevins’ office also played a key role. “(Lynch) was fixated on the violent, weird imagery artwork in my office,” Nevins said. “There’s a book shelf falling on a young girl, he liked that. We were off in business.”
The network is leaving Lynch and Frost alone but is very encouraged by what they’ve seen so far. (Lynch and Frost are writing all episodes, with Lynch directing each of them.) “They’ve promised closure. From what I’ve seen, I think it will live up to expectations.”
Nevins was asked to comment on the most recent season of Homeland, set in Pakistan, which drew criticism from Pakistani officials of the way their country and government had been portrayed. (On the show, South Africa was a stand-in for Pakistan, with the storyline implying that Pakistani officials are aiding the Taliban.)
“I think the Pakistani government did it the way they should, releasing a statement through the press, I respect how they expressed it,” Nevins said. He admitted some liberties in using the Urdu and Pashto languages because of the limited number of Urdu and Pashto-speaking actors in South Africa. But Nevins insisted that the series is “very well researched,” with members of the team spending a lot of time in DC.
Nevins also defended Homeland‘s much debated subdued season finale, which he personally considers one of his favorite episodes of the show. “I was a big advocate of going back to DC for the 12th episode,” he said. “It’s OK to shake it up. There were political things to be tied up in Washington, and Carrie had to deal with the issues of motherhood.”
Where Homeland will be set next season is still up in the air, Nevins said and touched on the latest wave of terrorist attacks in France. “It’s a bit of a scary time to be a maker of controversial, political boundary-breaking show,” he said. “It’s been a bad month for free speech around the world.”
Nevins also was asked about the difficult times the comedy genre has been going through. “It’s frustrating that I haven’t launched more comedies,” he said, while touting the potential of just ordered half-hour Happyish. “Comedies on TV have been challenged. While Transparent is a legitimately great show, I don’t think comedy has been breaking ground, like drama series have been breaking ground.”
In other Showtime news:
– On the heels of the two Golden Globes last night for The Affair, the first season of the Showtime drama will be rebroadcast on Fridays for 10 weeks.
– Kobe Bryant’s Muse documentary series will premiere on Feb. 21.