The wait is overTwin Peaks, the follow-up to David Lynch’s cult ABC series, will debut on Showtime on May 21 at 9 PM with a two-hour premiere, Showtime president David Nevins announced at the top of the network’s TCA session today. Immediately after the premiere, episodes 3 and 4 will also be made available on Showtime’s digital platform. “It’s really happening,” Nevins exclaimed.

In other Twin Peaks news, the new season will consist of 18 episodes, Nevins confirmed. Lynch filmed the entire season as a movie, with a decision made later how to cut the material into episodes, so the exact episode count had been in flux. “It will be 18 unforgettable hours,” Nevins said.

Except for the Episode 3 and 4’s early release, the show will essentially air weekly, because Lynch believes in weekly TV, Nevins said, adding that the series will have a global launch around the world. The network expects it to help launch new drama series I’m Dying Up Here, which premieres June 4.

Nevins admitted he has seen the entire season at private screenings Lynch had done for him and Showtime president of programming Gary Levine, who were treated to donuts before each session. Nevins called the new installment “the pure-heroin version of David Lynch.” Like the original, the follow-up “rewards close watching,” Nevins added.

He called the 1990s ABC series “the original social media discussion show before the tools for social media engagement existed.”

The new version of Twin Peaks sees original star Kyle MacLachlan return as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Or as Nevins put it, it’s “about Agent Dale Cooper’s odyssey to Twin Peaks.” He will be joined by several other cast members from the original series, including Lynch himself in a role as FBI Agent Gordon Cole, as well as several new cast members.

Asked whether there is a possibility for a second new season on Showtime, Nevins did not rule out a continuation completely, but noted that the upcoming 18-episode installment “is designed to be close-ended, one-time event.”